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Lauren James-Weir

Lauren James-Weir

Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation

Lauren James-Weir provides litigation counseling primarily in the areas of First Amendment and media law and has played a significant role in advancing media law in the state of New Jersey. She represents both media and non-media clients in matters involving free speech; defamation; invasion of privacy; access to records under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act and the federal Freedom of Information Act; access to meetings under New Jersey’s Open Public Meetings Act; access to courtrooms; cameras in the courtroom; the Newsperson’s Privilege; and legislative initiatives impacting the media. She works closely with numerous news organizations and newspapers throughout the tristate area on a variety of legal issues affecting the media and provides media clients with pre-publication review. In addition, Ms. James-Weir served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Bench Bar Media Subcommittee that drafted the Supreme Court Guidelines on Electronic Devices in the Courtroom, which were approved by the New Jersey Supreme Court and became effective in February 2015.

Ms. James-Weir serves as co-counsel to, and a lobbyist for, the New Jersey Press Association. In these roles, she has provided written and oral testimony in opposition, and in requesting amendments, to legislation that would impede transparency in government or otherwise negatively impact the media industry. She has also developed arguments for, and drafted legal briefs in, numerous media cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court in which New Jersey Press Association was granted amicus curiae status. In addition, as part of her work for the New Jersey Press Association, Ms. James-Weir responds to inquiries from Association members through the New Jersey Press Association Hotline.

Areas of Focus

Defamation/Invasion of Privacy

  • Provides clients with advice to minimize risk of litigation
  • Handles all aspects of defamation and invasion of privacy claims

Open Public Records Act (OPRA)/Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA)

  • Provides advice to clients on issues relating to access to government records and meetings
  • Works in conjunction with legislators, aligned organizations, and individuals on strengthening New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act
  • Monitors legislation that impacts New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act
  • Drafts position papers for legislative committees considering bills affecting access to government records and meetings
  • Testifies at legislative committee hearings on bills affecting access to government records and meetings
  • Drafts government records requests on behalf of clients
    Litigates wrongful denials of access to government records

Access to Court Proceedings and Records

  • Prepares and argues motions to intervene and for access to various court proceedings and court records

Newsperson’s Privilege

  • Advises clients in connection with subpoenas issued to news organizations
  • Litigates motions to quash subpoenas served on media clients in both civil and criminal cases

Legislative Initiatives Impacting the Media

  • Monitors legislation affecting the media industry
  • Reports to New Jersey Press Association on legislation affecting the media and recommends positions favorable to the press
  • Drafts position papers to legislators on bills impacting the media
  • Meets with legislators on legislation affecting the media industry
  • Testifies at hearings before legislative committees on bills affecting the media

Pre-Publication Review

  • Performs pre-publication review of books and articles
  • Provides clients with advice to minimize risk of litigation

Credentials

Education

Quinnipiac University School of Law (J.D.)

Rutgers University (B.A.)

Professional Admissions

State of New Jersey

State of New York

Professional Activities

New Jersey State Bar Association
Co-Chair, Media Law Committee
2018-2019

Supreme Court Bench Bar Media Subcommittee