webinara overview
Communications and PR

Webinar: Truth on Trial: Implications for Communicators

Ethics and the Collapse of Institutional Trust

webinar description

It doesn’t matter where you work – agency, corporation, advocacy, nonprofit, association or government — ethics in communications used to be easy. Tell the truth and do no harm. You only got in trouble if you deliberately did something you couldn’t tell your mother. But those days are gone, along with the safe sidelines. Everything is political, everything is transparent, and the truth is now subjective. Once a proud profession, more and more communicators are asking “how do we navigate an environment of fake news, false accusations, and instant judgment, where words are weapons?” How do we make ethical decisions when we are going to be criticized no matter what we do or say? Is it appropriate to engage in critical campaigns on social media, and if so, what are the rules? What is “gaslighting,” how does it work, and how do we fight back? What is the bright line between legal and ethical? What is political speech? What are our responsibilities – and our limits – for zealous representation?

Truth on Trial… We’re featuring the top talent in the legal, communications and media professions to share their best advice on navigating this changing world. Guests include Ty Cobb, Former Counsel to the President, Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent, CBS News; Richard Painter, former Chief White House Ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration; Ambassador Norman Eisen; Richard S. Levick, Chairman & CEO, LEVICK and more…

Reasons to attend the webinar:
  • To be part of the discussion regarding ethics in communications.

  • To gain insight regarding the question: How do we make ethical decisions when we are going to be criticized no matter what we do or say?

  • To hear from top talent in the legal, communications and media professions who share their best advice on navigating this changing world.

Who should attend:

Business leaders, the C-Suite, corporate communications professionals, government and association leadership.

Richard Levick, Chairman & CEO
Under his leadership, LEVICK has set new standards in global communications and brand protection for corporations, countries, and major institutions. Mr. Levick is one of the communications industry’s most important spokespersons and thought leaders.

A powerful advocate for the strategic initiatives that companies must pursue in today’s perilous environment, he regularly addresses corporate boards as well as industry and government leaders around the world, providing guidance on their most complex communications and reputation management challenges. He is featured in, and authors, countless articles, and is a frequent guest on prime time national and international television programs.

Mr. Levick is a much-sought after keynote and graduation speaker and is a columnist for the top business blogs including Forbes.

Mr. Levick has co-authored five books including, The Communicators: Leadership in the Age of Crisis; Stop the Presses; The Crisis and Litigation PR Desk Reference; 365 Marketing Meditations; and Lessons for Absent Children.
Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb, Former Special Counsel to the President
Bet-the-company litigation calls for a unique combination of skills, experience, and track record. Ty Cobb, a long-time leader at Hogan Lovells, has been widely recognized as one of the premier white collar, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement, and congressional investigations lawyers in the world. Clients managing crises, allegations of corruption, and other critical matters turn to Ty to guide them.

In 2015, Super Lawyers magazine, in the featured article “The Kansas Peach,” observed that Ty is “the big gun on whom powerful people rely. ‘Ty Cobb gets results the old-fashioned way,’ says Robert Weber, former general counsel for IBM. ‘He gets his fingernails dirty doing the hard work, he is relentless and he deeply cares about his client. Plus, he’s afraid of nothing.'” As Chambers & Partners notes, Ty is “tremendously responsive” with “phenomenal trial lawyer instinct.”

A former federal prosecutor, Ty is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is regularly profiled in Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in the World, International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers, and Super Lawyers. In April 2018, he was again recognized by Lawdragon as one of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America.” Also in 2017, Super Lawyers again honored him as one of the top 100 lawyers in Washington, D.C. Ty was an early inductee in the Ethisphere Hall of Fame, which recognizes those who have helped to advance corporate ethics and compliance.

Because of his corporate governance and crisis management experience, public companies, special committees of boards of directors, audit committees, and senior executives in “bet-the-company” cases turn to Ty as an advocate and advisor. Ty’s wide-ranging enforcement, bribery, and corruption practice has taken him to more than 35 countries and 44 states. Because of the high profile and potential consequences of many of his representations, he has appeared on “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” CNN, and FOX in the service of his clients.
S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota
Richard Painter, Richard W. Painter, Former White House Chief Ethics Counsel
Professor Richard W. Painter received his B.A., summa cum laude, in history from Harvard University and his J.D. from Yale University, where he was an editor of the Yale Journal on Regulation. Following law school, he clerked for Judge John T. Noonan Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and later practiced at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City and Finn Dixon & Herling in Stamford, Conn.

He has served as a tenured member of the law faculty at the University of Oregon School of Law and the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was the Guy Raymond and Mildred Van Voorhis Jones Professor of Law from 2002 to 2005. He has been the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Law School since 2007.

From February 2005 to July 2007, he was associate counsel to the president in the White House Counsel’s office, serving as the chief ethics lawyer for the president, White House employees, and senior nominees to Senate-confirmed positions in the executive branch. He is a member of the American Law Institute and is a reporter for the new ALI Principles of Government Ethics. He has also been active in the Professional Responsibility Section of the American Bar Association. He is a board member and vice chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as well as a founding board member of Take Back our Republic, a campaign finance reform organization.

Painter has also been active in law reform efforts aimed at deterring securities fraud and improving ethics of corporate managers and lawyers. A key provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, requiring the SEC to issue rules of professional responsibility for securities lawyers, was based on earlier proposals Painter made in law review articles and to the ABA and the SEC. He has given dozens of lectures on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to law schools, bar associations, and learned societies, such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Painter has on six occasions provided invited testimony before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate on government ethics, securities litigation, and/or the role of attorneys in corporate governance.

Painter’s book Getting the Government America Deserves: How Ethics Reform Can Make a Difference was published by Oxford University Press in January 2009. His coauthored book (with Professor Claire Hill) Better Bankers, Better Banks: Promoting Good Business Through Contractual Commitment was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015. From 2014-15 he was a residential fellow at Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, which funded his work on a third book, Taxation only with Representation: The Conservative Conscience and Campaign Finance Reform (Take Back our Republic, 2016).

He has written op-eds on government ethics for various publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, and he has been interviewed several times on government ethics and corporate ethics by national news organizations, including appearances on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC), Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN), CNN News, Fox News, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and Minnesota Public Radio News. Painter has also given expert testimony in cases involving securities transactions and the professional responsibility of lawyers. He testified as a defense witness in SEC v. The Reserve Money Market Fund (SDNY, November 2012), a jury trial of an SEC enforcement action against the founders of the world’s oldest money market fund that ended with a defense verdict on all of the fraud counts.

Painter is the coauthor of two casebooks: Securities Litigation and Enforcement (with Margaret Sachs and Donna Nagy; West Academic Publishing, 2003; second edition, 2007; third edition, 2011) and Professional and Personal Responsibilities of the Lawyer (with Judge John T. Noonan Jr.; Foundation Press, 1997; second edition, 2001; third edition, 2011). He has written dozens of articles, book reviews, and essays.
Ambassador Norman Eisen, Senior Fellow
Ambassador Norman Eisen is the author of The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House, forthcoming on September 4, 2018. He is a senior fellow at Brookings, a CNN political commentator, and the chair of the government watchdog group CREW. Eisen served from 2009 to 2011 in the White House as President Obama’s “ethics czar” and as the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014.

Eisen’s book tells the story of liberalism and illiberalism through the lives of the people who preceded him in his ambassadorial residence in Prague: its Jewish builder, Nazi occupier, post-WWII American savior, and Cold War movie star-ambassador. Interwoven throughout is the story of his mother, a Czech Holocaust survivor who was deported to Auschwitz on orders from those same Nazi forces who once occupied his ambassadorial residence. Eisen’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and Politico. He has been profiled in The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and Tablet. Eisen was named #11 on the Politico 50 list of thinkers shaping American politics, and to the Forward 50 list of American Jews.



1:00 - 3:00 PM
(GMT -4)

(Duration - 120 minutes)



Corporate communications, marketing, financial communications and social media influencers share their insight & expertise. CommPRO is your gateway to participate in these important industry discussions.

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