MIAMI — April 4, 2012 — Florida Bar President Scott Hawkins today appointed Patricia Acosta of Hunton & Williams' Miami office to chair the Florida Bar Media & Communications Law Committee in 2012-2013. The committee annually hosts a workshop in the Florida Supreme Court for reporters who cover the legal profession, a conference for lawyers and journalists on pressing media law issues, seminars for citizens on open government laws, and a review of the US Supreme Court's First Amendment decisions.
"We're moving beyond journalism as prior generations knew it," Acosta said. "Journalism today is conducted by advanced engineers who use all facets of internet technologies to discover new knowledge and make it accessible to the world." She said the future of The Miami Herald and other traditional Florida media companies will remain a primary committee concern. "They plowed the path that gave the First Amendment meaning and they will continue to be the leaders in protecting freedom of speech and of the press."
Acosta has played a leading role in many media lawsuits across the country, including most recently the US Supreme Court decision Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. In that case, the Court held in a 6-3 decision by Justice Anthony Kennedy that the First Amendment protects data mining against state regulation. Acosta also has defended libel actions against former Miss Florida, Shannon Ford, actor Mickey Rourke, and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida.
Acosta previously served as chair of the Committee's 2010 Media Law Conference co-sponsored with Florida International University and featuring the interactive panel Journalism and Other Financial Disasters. This year she plans to focus the committee's activities on regulatory challenges facing Florida’s leading information technology companies such as Citrix, Scripps Florida, FPL FiberNet, Roar Media, Broward Bulldog, ImmunoSite Technologies, LLC, United Data Technologies, Axxis Solutions, and 3CInteractive.
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Hunton & Williams LLP provides legal services to corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals, as well as to a broad array of other entities. Since our establishment more than a century ago, Hunton & Williams has grown to more than 800 lawyers serving clients in 100 countries from 19 offices around the world. While our practice has a strong industry focus on energy, financial services and life sciences, the depth and breadth of our experience extends to more than 100 separate practice areas, including bankruptcy and creditors rights, commercial litigation, corporate transactions and securities law, intellectual property, international and government relations, regulatory law, products liability, and privacy and information management.