The Twenty-Ninth Annual Sadie T.M. Alexander Commemorative Conference

Social Media and the Law: Exploring Social Media's Influence on the Practice and Application of Law


The Penn Law Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is hosting the 29th Annual Sadie T.M. Alexander Commemorative Conference on February 11, 2017. This year's conference theme is “Social Media and the Law”Our primary objective is to explore how social media influences the law. 

The day portion of the conference will consist of three panels, a workshop, and a career fair at Penn Law located at 3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104. This event offers professional development opportunities for attorneys to earn CLE credits. The evening cocktail reception and dinner will feature a keynote address by Angela Rye, at Hotel Monaco located at 433 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

We will explore how social movements advanced through social media influence the decision-making processes of law enforcement officers. We will discuss the goals of social media activism, its impact on law enforcement, and its use as an evidentiary tool. Our goal is to have conversations that highlight the perspectives of academics, activists, law enforcement officers, and attorneys. We will host a workshop to teach students the best approaches to utilizing social media as both a social advocate and as a young professional. After a full day of discussion, we will end our evening with the cocktail reception and dinner. 

This day portion has been approved for 4.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring payment in the amount of $160.00 ($80.00 for public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check (made payable to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania”).


 

Panel 1 – It’s Complicated: The Evolving Relationship among Social Media, Social Movements, and the Law

Description: The panel will explore how social movements advanced through social media influence the decision-making processes of law enforcement and/or prosecutors. We will discuss the goals of social media activism, its impact on law enforcement, and its use as an evidentiary tool. Our goal is to have a conversation that includes the perspectives of academics, activists, law enforcement officers, and attorneys in hopes of analyzing numerous aspects of this complex relationship.  

Our panelists will be:

  1. Antonia Link, Penn Law 3L (moderator)
  2. Deen Freelon: Associate Professor in the School of Communication at American University, co-author of Beyond the Hashtags: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice
  3. Corporal Frank Domizio: Senior Systems Analyst, Department of Defense Cybersecurity Culture and Compliance Initiative; former Social Media Community Manager at the Philadelphia Police Department
  4. Johnetta Elzie:  Civil rights activist, We The Protesters; Co-editor of This Is the Movement, a Ferguson-based protest newsletter
  5. Rev. Melech E. M. Thomas: Minister and community activist
  6. Yvonne R. Heard: Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office

 

Panel 2 – Judges’ Perspective: Analyzing Social Media from the Bench

Description: Federal judges will discuss how judges approach the use of social media as evidence in their courtroom. In addition, judges will provide insights into the evolution of the legal landscape in the Age of Social Media. The topics will range from social media as evidence in criminal convictions to social media posts as protected concerted activity as a subset of employee rights.

Our panelists will be:

  1. Honorable Stephen C. Robinson: Former federal judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. (moderator)
  2. Honorable Theodore A. McKee: Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  3. Honorable Petrese B. Tucker: Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  4. Honorable Gregory M. Sleet: District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware
  5. Honorable Cheryl Ann Krause: Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

 

Panel 3 -  What Did I Say? The Intersection of Social Media and Employment Law

Description: The panel will discuss the complexities of utilizing social media as both an individual and as an employee, particularly in the employment law context. At-will employment has raised questions regarding monitoring employee’s social media posts, protections employees have in expressing themselves online. For example, although Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act does not mention social media, the internet or computers, how can employees’ right of concerted activity be extended to activity online? Even more, what is concerted social media activity under the Act? Does an employee have an expectation of privacy if his/her page is private? What are some of the First Amendment protections that employees have? And how are cases, such as NLRB v. American Medical Response, helping us to define these lines?

Our panelists will be:

  1. Professor Tobias Wolff: Professor of Law, Penn Law (moderator)
  2. Professor Michael Graif: Partner at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, Lecturer in Law, Penn Law
  3. W. John Lee: Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (complex employment litigation)
  4. Dorit Radzin: Attorney, National Labor Relations Board (Division of Advice, Washington DC)
  5. Sean Marshall: Regional Attorney, National Labor Relations Board’s (Baltimore)
  6. Stephen Daly: Associate, Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP
 

Social Media Workshop

Description: This workshop aims to teach attendees the best approaches to being an online social advocate while staying within the guidelines of their employers’ codes of conduct. This interactive workshop will provide practical etiquette pointers on how to be an individual advocate and a responsible professional.

Instructor: Lloyd Freeman – Partner, Archer 

This Year's Sponsors

 
Diamond Sponsor

Hogan Lovells LLP
Dechert LLP

Gold Sponsor

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP

Silver Sponsors

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Covington & Burling LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
DLA Piper
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Duane Morris LLP
Mayer Brown LLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Bronze Sponsors

Baker Botts LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Pepper Hamilton LLP

Friends of Sadie

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
University of Pennsylvania Year of Media
Verizon Communications, Inc.

Friends of BLSA

Ballard Spahr LLP

 

History of the Conference


 

The Raymond Pace and Sadie T.M. Alexander Professorship in Civil Rights was established at Penn Law through an initial gift from the Alexander estate in 1993, and through the involvement of the Alexanders’ daughters, Dr. Rae Alexander-Minter GR’81, who played a pivotal role over the years in leading fundraising efforts, and Mary B. Cannaday. The Chair has been co-funded by the Law School, Penn, and through a grant by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and a gift from the law firm Duane Morris. The Alexander Chair allows Penn Law to hire a Professor whose primary focus would be on the issues of civil rights and civil liberties.

In 1994 Penn BLSA established a Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Committee and each year since then has hosted an annual dinner and conference to support fundraising for the Chair, as well as celebrate the Alexanders’ lives and legacy. In total, more than 350 donors, including individual alumni, students, and faculty, as well as alumni groups, student groups, law firms, and corporations, have contributed to the establishment of the professorship.

For updates on the conference, please check our programs page which will have details and information on the upcoming event.