Morro Bay law updates

    The Journalism Association of Community Colleges has been holding annual Faculty Conferences in Morro Bay since the late 1970s.  I gave a legal update there in 1979 and JACC kept inviting me back.  Eventually I started doing a brief written summary of the year's new legal developments, concentrating on changes in California law that affected the campus media.  Here are the "Morro Bay law updates" going back to 1986. 

    One caution:  the law has changed a great deal over the years.  The early papers are here for historical reasons, not because they necessarily summarize the law as it stands today.  As I went through these documents to insert HTML codes in January of 1999, it struck me that a lot of history is chronicled here.  When the 1986 update was written, the Supreme Court had just agreed to hear the Fraser case, the precursor to Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier.  When Hazelwood was decided, the implications of that monumental student press case were discussed, as they have been many times since then.  The updates also trace the evolution of the Brown Act, the California shield law, libel law, the birth and expansion of the anti-SLAPP law and several other legal trends. 

    There's also some JACC history implicit in these law updates.  Rereading them reminded me of what was happening in the organization at various times:  who the officers were, what the issues were, whether we saw many blue herons near the Inn at Morro Bay during a particular conference--and other interesting things.  But the most powerful memory reading these updates rekindled for me was the memory of several gifted and dedicated journalism educators who have passed from the scene.  A tribute to one of them--Tom Pasqua--is online here. 

                                                                                    -Wayne Overbeck 

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