Pear v. United States

June 15, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Free and open to the public. Registration is required.
Pear v. United States @ Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

The issues involved in the Apple cellphone controversy will be argued in front of a mock U.S. Supreme Court held at the Newseum as Pear v. United States.

Experts in First Amendment law, cybersecurity, civil liberties and national security issues will make up the eight-member High Court, and legal teams will represent “Pear” and the government. The oral argument, supported by written briefs, will focus on those issues likely to reach the actual high court, from the power of the government to “compel speech” to the privacy expectations of millions of mobile phone users.

The Justices hearing the case include:

  • Floyd Abrams, renowned First Amendment lawyer and author; visiting lecturer at the Yale Law School (representing the chief justice)
  • Harvey Rishikof, most recently dean of faculty at the National War College at the National Defense University; chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security
  • Nadine Strossen, former president of the American Civil Liberties Union; the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School
  • Linda Greenhouse, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School; longtime U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times
  • Lee Levine, renowned media lawyer; adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center
  • Stewart Baker, national security law and policy expert; former assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Stephen Vladeck, professor of law at American University Washington College of Law; nationally recognized expert on the role of the federal courts in the war on terrorism
  • The Hon. Robert S. Lasnik, senior judge for the Western District of Washington at the U.S. District Court

Lawyers arguing the case include:

  • For Pear: Robert Corn-Revere has extensive experience in First Amendment law and communications, media and information technology law
    • Ronald G. London, experienced appellate litigator and editor of DWT Privacy and Security Law Blog,
  • For the U.S. government: Joseph DeMarco, who served from 1997 to 2007 as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, specializes in issues involving information privacy and security, theft of intellectual property, computer intrusions, online fraud and the lawful use of new technology
    • Co-counsel: Jeffrey Barnum, a lawyer and legal scholar specializing in criminal law and First Amendment law who argued United States v. Alaa Mohammad Ali before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces while in law school

Each side will have 25 minutes to argue its position before the Court and an additional five minutes for follow-up comments. Following the session, there will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions of the lawyers and court members.

The program is organized on behalf of the Newseum Institute by the University of Washington Law School’s Harold S. Shefelman Scholar Ronald Collins and by Nan Mooney.

One thought on “Pear v. United States

  1. It was very enjoyable & reflected the importance of the issue in real life. I would side with the Pear both on the merit of the case as well as the arguments presented at the mock trial. Thanks for Newseum for this event.