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ROGERS & WELLS TO OPERATE LEGAL DEFENSE HOTLINE FOR JOURNALISTS ARRESTED AT DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

 ROGERS & WELLS TO OPERATE LEGAL DEFENSE HOTLINE FOR JOURNALISTS
 ARRESTED AT DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
 NEW YORK, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The international law firm of Rogers & Wells has established a legal aid defense and hotline service for reporters who are arrested covering the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
 The pro-bono service, established at the request of the Washington, D.C.-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, is designed to minimize problems reporters may face in the event of major demonstrations and other unusual occurrences during the Convention, said Richard N. Winfield, a litigation partner at Rogers & Wells and chairman of the firm's Media Law practice group.
 In announcing the service, Winfield said that disturbances at past political conventions have sometimes resulted in mass arrests and reporters have been taken into custody.
 "Good journalists are drawn, like moths to a flame, to scenes of action and controversy. Since that is also where arrests sometimes occur, journalists need and deserve prompt and effective legal representation. That's where we come in," said Winfield, who will head a staff of five Rogers & Wells attorneys.
 The service will provide cost-free legal advice through a 24-hour hotline, as well as immediate defense counsel representation for all accredited journalists covering the Convention.
 Winfield said his staff, working closely with Democratic National Convention officials, has coordinated procedures with the New York City District Attorney's Office and the New York City Police Department to facilitate press identification during "incidents" and the prompt release of any reporters who might be "swept up" during any mass arrests.
 The Police Department has said that its officers will try not to interfere with working journalists, provided that the journalists have not committed separate infractions such as disorderly conduct or harassment.
 Reporters holding Convention credentials can call the hotline at (212) 878-8510.
 In addition to Winfield, other Rogers & Wells attorneys who will serve on the legal defense and hotline service include David A. Schulz, Mark F. Pomerantz, Warren L. Feldman, and Jodi M. Posner.
 Rogers & Wells' Media Law practice group has a long and celebrated history of successful defense representation in areas of First Amendment conflicts. High profile cases include the landmark New York Times verses Sullivan and the hotly contested Pentagon Papers litigation.
 Additionally, in April the group helped create the New York State Libel Hotline, providing newspaper members of the New York Press Association with pre-publication review of editorial and advertising copy for libel and privacy issues.
 -0- 7/6/92 R
 /CONTACT: Thomas Phillips, 212-880-5618, or Jolie Goldstein, 212-878-8099, both of Rogers & Wells/ CO: Rogers & Wells ST: New York IN: SU:


GK -- NY050R -- 6734 07/06/92 16:28 EDT
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Date:Jul 6, 1992
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