In several significant ways, this event is a first. It is the first symposium to be held in Seattle University School of Law since the recent dedication of our magnificent new building. It is the first symposium of its kind ever to be held in the great Northwest. Furthermore, law school and law review symposia typically focus more on free speech theory than they do on the First Amendment in practice. As the Seattle University Law Review will be transcribing and publishing an account of this event, I thought it would be interesting to do a quick electronic search for free speech symposia in law journal literature. To my knowledge, then, this will be the first law review symposium to feature only prominent figures in the First Amendment libel trenches, those who face the daunting challenges of libel law on trial. Finally, this is surely the first symposium to gather the particular panel of distinguished libel law experts here today.

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