Legal Training

Legal Training

Legal Training for Reporters | September 22, 2020

Wednesday, September 22, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

This year’s session will focus on emerging technology issues as well as continuing challenges surrounding trespassing, private property and defamation. We'll also take a deeper look at open meetings and records with guest presenter and OPEE award winner Tom Kamenick, and provide copies of the newly updated Wisconsin State Bar News Reporter’s Legal Handbook.


Emerging Technology Issues

  • Online sources and information — copyright, verifying sources and legitimacy, accuracy and vetting 
  • New rules about body camera footage

Continuing Challenges

  • Trespass and private property — what constitutes private property (federal, state and municipal rules), penalties for trespassing, guidelines for identifying public vs private property.
  • Defamation

Open Meetings and Records

  • What you have access to and how to get it
  • What to do when you're told no

Advance Registration Requested

There is no fee to attend but registration is requested by Friday, September 18. Please complete the form below or call Marilyn at 608-784-5678 to register.


Brent Smith is managing partner at Johns, Flaherty & Collins where he focuses on litigation, insurance and media law. A distinguished lawyer, he has been named among Wisconsin Super Lawyers for 10 consecutive years. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and American College of Trial Lawyers. He has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and has been practicing law for 42 years.

David Pierce is an associate attorney at Johns, Flaherty & Collins. He joined the firm in 2017 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Prior to joining Johns, Flaherty & Collins, David completed a judicial internship with Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler and interned for Federal Judge James Peterson of the Western District of Wisconsin. He concentrates his law practice on criminal defense, litigation and real estate, among other areas. 

Tom Kamenick is the OPEE-award-winning president and founder of the Wisconsin Transparency Project, a law firm dedicated to strict enforcement of the state's open records and open meetings laws. In the year the project has operated, Kamenick has filed nine lawsuits, written dozens of letters demanding records and helped countless others with transparency issues. Tom holds a J.D. from Marquette Law School and a bachelor’s in fine arts from UW-Milwaukee.