Journalist, Michigan Press Association
Dawn Hertz has been an invaluable friend of Michigan newspapers and the Michigan Press Association for nearly 30 years. She developed the MPA Legal and Employment Law Hotline so provide prompt and timely answers to questions ranging from how to convince a public body that it wasn’t allowed to close a meeting to how to respond to advertiser requests to include images that violate fair-use policies. Her work put government officials on notice they must follow the freedom of information and open meetings laws or face litigation.
Her MPA Bulletin column addressed legal questions that bedeviled editors and advertising managers alike. Whether responding to a collegiate journalist whose camera had was confiscated by overzealous police or addressing legislators seeking to eviscerate the Freedom of Information Act, she was calm, direct and thoroughly prepared.
Hertz earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan. At the law firm Butzel Long, she specialized in First Amendment work, defended the media, financial institutions and private citizens in claims alleging libel and invasion of privacy, and extensively litigated freedom of information and open meetings cases.
Hertz is co-author Michigan Media Law and member of the State Bar’s Arts, Communications and Entertainment Committee, American Bar Association Communications Law Section and Society for Professional Journalists.
The MPA Foundation created the Dawn Hertz Freedom of Information Scholarship in this year for Michigan journalists who want to immerse themselves in First Amendment/Freedom of Information issues through classes, workshops, seminars or special projects to improve the public’s right to know.