The First Amendment Project has announced that its Executive Director and Staff Counsel David Greene has accepted a position with the San Francisco office of law firm Holme, Roberts & Owen, effective August 1. Mr. Greene will be a Senior Counsel at the firm and work in the firm’s Media, Entertainment and Advertising practice group. “David is one of the finest First Amendment lawyers in the country,” said FAP Chairman Clinton Fein. “We’re thrilled for him and the new opportunity this gives him to continue to advance the causes that he has led throughout his career, for freedom of expression and information, and to work for the journalistic and artistic communities.” Mr. Greene has been with the organization as staff counsel and Executive Director since 1999.
The First Amendment Project is a non-profit organization that provides legal advice and representation for journalists, activists and artists. Its website calls it “the only nonprofit organization in the country dedicated to providing free legal representation exclusively on free speech and free press issues.”
Founded in 1991, it specializes in Freedom of Information, Public Records, open government, artistic and advocacy expression and defense of what are known as “SLAPP suits,” or lawsuits filed against people for speaking out on matters of public interest. FAP and Greene have received numerous local and national awards for their legal advocacy.
Greene will continue to play a major role with the FAP. He will remain as Executive Director on a volunteer basis while FAP undergoes a planning process for his successor. Greene will also continue his involvement in FAP’s caseload, as several clients are expected to ask the HRO firm to join as co-counsel in cases he has worked on at FAP. Discussions regarding for which clients and cases HRO will serve as co-counsel are ongoing. FAP Founder and Senior Counsel James Wheaton, assisted by Law Fellow Lowell Chow, will continue to oversee all of FAP’s cases, regardless of whether HRO joins as co-counsel.
“This continues to be a vital time for First Amendment rights,” said Fein,” and FAP’s work will go on.” Fein noted that although the organization will begin looking for a new Executive Director, “it will also take this occasion in its 20th anniversary year to step back, survey the landscape for what FAP has done well, new freedom of expression challenges emerging as a result of rapidly developing telecommunications technologies, where FAP could expand its services and how it can best continue to serve its constituent groups. We’ll take the next few months to invite all of FAP’s supporters and constituencies to think and give us feedback on how we can best position FAP for the next two decades.”