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On Demand Audio

First Amendment Rights Under the Trump Administration

(658 reviews)

Produced on January 16, 2018

Taught by
$ 89 Constitutional, Civil Rights, and Public Interest In Stock

Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This class, presented by Daniel Kornstein, an attorney at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, will provide an overview of the main issues and controversies of “First Amendment Rights Under the Trump Administration.”

The theme will be the current importance of value pluralism in today’s First Amendment context. The program will focus on how to reconcile First Amendment values with other competing values. Topics to be covered include, among others: hate speech; campaign finance; religious, moral, or artistic objections to certain behavior; Internet neutrality; offensive speakers on campus; non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment settlement, and trademarking ethnic and racial slurs.

Special attention will be paid to the impact of the Trump Administration on basic First Amendment theory as a result of: presidential threats to and criticism of the media; repeated use of “alternate facts”; references to “fake news”; “opening up” libel law so newspapers can be sued more easily; frequent presidential use of Twitter and blocking of followers; and censorship of administrative agency language. The program will explore whether the premise of the First Amendment is being changed, and the role of truth in each of the aforementioned circumstances.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain an overview of current First Amendment controversies, the values at stake, and potential threats posed to our system of freedom of expression
  2. Identify in each instance the precise values competing with the First Amendment and their relative importance
  3. Recognize that the First Amendment is not always absolute and that there is a need, when called for, to balance the First Amendment with other competing values and sometimes even competing First Amendment values
  4. Analyze the potential impact of the Trump Administration on freedom of expression


Daniel Kornstein

Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP

Dan Kornstein is a skilled, experienced, and successful trial lawyer and appellate advocate, with an exciting and varied civil litigation practice. He has conducted over 100 trial-type proceedings (including 20 jury trials) and argued more than 80 appeals. To each case he brings a creative, energetic, and aggressive approach. Mr. Kornstein’s clients range from individuals (including Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, Academy Award winning actors, publishing executives, and rising entrepreneurs) to large corporations and financial institutions. He has litigated several notable First Amendment cases, as well as substantial antitrust, securities, commercial, employment, product liability, family law, and international matters.

“Mr. Kornstein is a man of high principle, great compassion and profound intelligence who has elevated the practice of law to the level of moral statement. He has the personal integrity to stand up for people, books and causes he believes in, even when others do not.” Joe McGinniss, Acknowledgment in Blind Faith (1989).

Mr. Kornstein was selected as a New York Super Lawyer for the past eight years and named in “The Top 100” in the 2010 New York Super Lawyers Metro Edition. For 29 consecutive years, Mr. Kornstein has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America in the Business Litigation category, and for 2018 is listed in four litigation practice areas: Commercial Litigation, Banking & Finance, Securities, and Trusts & Estates. He was the subject of a feature article (“Dan’s Law”) in the New York Metro 2012 Super Lawyers Magazine.

Before joining the firm in 2015, Mr. Kornstein was a founding partner of what the New York Law Journal referred to as the “prominent” “powerhouse” litigation boutique Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard, LLP, where he practiced for 35 years.

“Dan is a complete lawyer, a lawyer not only as a master of technique, but also a lawyer as philosopher, as historian, as humanist.” Jack Fuller, Pulitzer Prize winner and former editor-in-chief and president of the Chicago Tribune(Super Lawyers Magazine New York Metro 2012).

A past president of the Law & Humanities Institute, Mr. Kornstein has coupled a busy law practice with frequent writing and speaking about the law. He has published nine non-fiction law-related books, eighteen law review articles, and hundreds of essays and book reviews (many in the New York Law Journal). His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Boston Globe, and has been cited by a number of courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Dan’s most recent book — The Second Greatest American — was published in June 2017 and is a study of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

In 2015, Mr. Kornstein gave a keynote address on “Creative Lawyering” – one of his signature topics – to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. In 2012, the New York Court of Appeals invited Mr. Kornstein to deliver a public lecture at the Court on “Shakespeare and the Law.” In 2002, Mr. Kornstein received the Prix du Palais Littéraire from the Law & Literature Society of France.

Drafted into the Army after one year of law school during the Vietnam era, Mr. Kornstein served on active duty for two years (1969-71) in the First Armored Division and the First Cavalry Division. He was a legal clerk on the prosecution team in the 1970 My Lai Massacre court-martial of one of Lt. Calley’s platoon sergeants. Mr. Kornstein was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for “exceptionally meritorious service.”


Peter O.

Thought provoking

Fiona D.

An easy and pleasant listening experience.

Janet J.

Great discussion.

Leonard M. K.

Great lecturer. Highly recommend.

janine s.

I was very impressed by the speaker. he was very knowledgable, a great communicator and very thought provoking. a true pleasure.

Allen H.

While I agree with most of his objectives, his politics often overshadowed and colored legitimate legal debate and analysis.

Wendy O.

and well presented

Steven K.

Great overview for someone like me who does not practice in this area!!!

Homer R.


Andre V.

The speaker's presentation of the most controversial topics, especially the Baker Case, indicated an inability to provide balanced compelling arguments

James S.

A very timely lecture that raises deep questions about our values and how those values are implemented in law.

Garrett L S.

Good presentation of important current issue

Rufus W.

Excellent presentation, well organized, timely

Steven O.

Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

Patrick O.

I liked his approach and admire his understanding. I learned a great deal. Thank you.

Margaret N.

This was by far the best Lawline program I've ever listened to and a fabulous CLE program. I found the presenter balanced while being critical and insightful about first amendment jurisprudence. He gave relevant and thought-provoking examples to support his analysis and provided suggestions for further reading.

William B.

Remarkably timely and thought provoking update on the history and necessity of the First Amendment and why it is probably the most important Amendment today.

Theis R.

Great topic. Glad I picked it.

Robert C.

Great stuff!

Jessica J.

Great, thoughtful, passionate discussion of the legal framework and American values. As promised, definitely not boring.

Jayne W.

fascinating overview of how one administration changes the law. thanks !

Gregory W.

Very informative. Would recommend.

Zachary M.

Even more timely one year later. Enlightening and motivating.

Susan C.

Truly an inspiring speaker

Sharon A.

Timely topic

Judith K.

I thought this was a very good program. He is a good speaker.

Nadia S.

Thank you, enjoyed it

Robert S.

Excellent! Stimulating!!

Joyce K.

Very thought-provoking, Excellent!

Steve S.

Solid course.

Kristin Keely R.

Excellent course.

richard b.


Cullen M.

Very earnest and heartfelt presentation. Learned valuable facts about the history if the first amendment and how it is now in jeopardy.

Jerald F.

Excellent. One of top 2 I have heard on Lawline.


Excellent program: timely topic and essential refresher on the First Amendment.

Sarah M.

Very interesting.

Geoffrey K.

Excellent presentation.

Louis B.

distressing and inspiring

Gwen I.

Highly recommend--Excellent course and very engaging presenter! Content is very timely and thought provoking--reminds me what we enjoyed most about the study of the law and gives hope that our guiding principles can endure.

Robin B.

Very good

Gregory G.

Fantastic presentation!!

Cory R.

Very thoughtful and relevant.

Jason B.

Fantastic presentation. Discusses theoretical and legal arguments for First Amendment jurisprudence.

Harry B.

Thought provoking and one of your best programs.

Allen H.

Very good overview of 1st Amendment. I enjoyed the course.

Barbara Jane I.

One of the best and most pertinent courses I've taken.

Ruth G.

Very well done.

Ingrid Olsen T.

This should be seen by every law student in the nation. It was excellent!

Venola R.

I appreciated the historical perspective. That was helpful to understanding the complexity of the issue in this era and those to come.

Jeffrey Alan G.

Excellent and thought provoking conversation on free speech.

Donald M.

Excellent! As a dyed in the wool conservative and reluctant Trump voter!


Nice job. Very well presented and interesting.

Robert H.

Atty. Kornstein is one of the best faculty I seen on Lawline CLE.

R. Christopher R.

Fascinating seminar with philosophical or ethical overtones

Lisa W.

Appreciate the current and relevant insight. Thoughtful and incisive CLE.

Laura M.

Very well organized and interesting.

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