College Directory

Clay Calvert, J.D., Ph.D.

Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication - Department of Journalism
Director - Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project

Office: 2060 Weimer Phone: 352-273-1096 Email: Twitter: @ProfClayCalvert


Clay Calvert is the Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication and Director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida.

In Spring 2011, Professor Calvert served as Visiting Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, where he taught two sections of Constitutional Law II, covering equal protection, substantive due process and freedom of expression.

Calvert has authored or co-authored more than 130 law journal articles on topics related to freedom of expression. He has published articles in journals affiliated with the law schools at Boston University, Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Georgetown, New York University, Northwestern, University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt and William & Mary, among others.

In 2016, Calvert captured a veritable academic triple crown, winning top faculty awards for papers submitted to the law divisions at the Broadcast Education Association conference (Las Vegas), the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium (Baton Rouge) and the AEJMC annual conference (Minneapolis).

As director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project, Calvert has filed, as counsel of record, multiple friend-of-the-court briefs with the United States Supreme Court in cases such as Elonis v. United States and Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.

Since 2015, his op-ed commentaries have appeared in Fortune, Huffington Post, Newsweek, New Republic and The Conversation.

Professor Calvert is co-author, along with Don R. Pember, of the market-leading undergraduate media law textbook, Mass Media Law, 19th ed. (McGraw-Hill), and is author of the book Voyeur Nation: Media, Privacy, and Peering in Modern Culture (Westview Press, 2000).

He received his J.D. with Great Distinction in 1991 from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and then earned a Ph.D. in 1996 in Communication from Stanford University, where he also completed his undergraduate work with a B.A. in Communication in 1987.  He is a member of both the State Bar of California and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.


J.D., University of the Pacific
Ph.D., Stanford University


Calvert, C., Tobin, C.D., & Bunker, M.D. (2016).  Newsgathering Takes Flight in Choppy Skies:  Legal Obstacles Affecting Journalistic Drone Use. Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, 26 in press

Calvert, C. (2016). Protecting the Public from Itself: Paternalism and Irony in Defining Newsworthiness. New England Law Review, 50 (2), in press

Bunker, M.D., & Calvert, C. (2016). “Defamation Live”: The Confusing Legal Landscape of Republication in Live Broadcasting and a Call for a “Breaking News Doctrine.” Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, 40 in press

Calvert, C. (2015). The First Amendment Right to Record Images of Police in Public Places: The Unreasonable Slipperiness of Reasonableness & Possible Paths Forward. Texas A&M Law Review, 3 (1), 131 – 178.

Calvert, C. (2015).  Difficulties and Dilemmas Regarding Defamatory Meaning in Ethnic   Micro-Communities: Accusations of Communism, Then and Now. University of Louisville Law Review, 54 (1), in press

Calvert, C., Morehart, E., Billaud, K., & Bruckenstein, B. (2015).   Access to Information About Lethal Injections: A First Amendment Theory Perspective  on Creating a New Constitutional Right. Hastings Communications & Entertainment Law Journal, 38 (1), in press

Calvert, C. (2015). Content-Based Confusion and Panhandling: Muddling a Weathered  First Amendment Doctrine Takes Its Toll on Society’s Less Fortunate.  Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest, 18 (3), 249 – 289, available at:

Calvert, C. (2015). Legal Lessons in On-Stage Character Development: Comedians, Characters, Cable Guys & Copyright Convolutions. Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law, 4 (1), 12 – 37, available at:

Calvert, C., & Bunker, M.D. (2015). Know Your Audience:  Risky Speech at the Intersection of Meaning and Value in First Amendment Jurisprudence. Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review, 35 (2), 141 – 210.

Calvert, C. (2014). Public Concern and Outrageous Speech: Testing the Inconstant Boundaries of IIED and the First Amendment Three Years After Snyder v. Phelps. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, 17 (2), 437 – 478.

Calvert, C., Morehart, E., & Papadelias, S. (2014). Rap Music and the True Threats Quagmire:  When Does One Man’s Lyric Become Another’s Crime? Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, 38 (1), 1 – 27 (2014), available at:

Calvert, C., Minchin, M., & Morehart, E. (2014). Gruesome Images, Shocking Speech and Harm to Minors: Judicial Pushback Against the First Amendment After Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association? Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, 13 (2), 127 – 166.

Calvert, C., Axelrod, D., Papadelias, S., & Riedemann, L. (2014).  Bag Men and the Ghost   of Richard Jewell: Some Legal and Ethical Lessons About Implied Defamation,  Headlines and Reporting on Breaking Criminal Activity From Barhoum v. NYP Holdings. Hastings Communications & Entertainment Law Journal, 36 (2), 407 – 449.

Calvert, C. (2014). The Future of the Press and Privacy.  Communication Law and Policy, 19 (1), 119 – 128  Clay Calvert    Dec. 1, 2015 3

Calvert, C. (2014). Revenge Porn and Freedom of Expression:  Legislative Pushback to an  Online Weapon of Emotional and Reputational Destruction. Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal, 24 (3), 673 – 702.

Calvert, C., Morehart, E., & Papadelias, S. (2014). Plausible Pleading & Media Defendant Status: Fulfilled Promises, Unfinished Business in Libel Law on the Golden Anniversary of Sullivan. Wake Forest Law Review, 49 (1), 47 – 86.

Calvert, C., Carnley, K., Link, B., & Riedemann, L. (2014). Conversion Therapy and Free Speech: A Doctrinal and Theoretical First Amendment Analysis. William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 20 (3), 525 – 571.

Bunker, M.D., & Calvert, C. (2014). The Jurisprudence of Transformation: Intellectual Incoherence  and Doctrinal Murkiness Twenty Years After Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music.  Duke Law and Technology Review, 12 (1), 92 – 128, available at:

Calvert, C. (2013). Fringes of Free Expression: Testing the Meaning of “Speech” Amid Shifting Mores and Changing Technologies. Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, 22 (3), 545 – 590.

Calvert, C. (2013). A Familial Privacy Right Over Death Images: Critiquing the Internet-Propelled Emergence of a Nascent Constitutional Right that Preserves Happy Memories and Emotions. Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 40 (3), 475 – 523.

Calvert, C., & Bunker, M.D. (2013). An “Actual Problem” in First Amendment Jurisprudence? Examining the Immediate Impact of Brown’s Proof-of-Causation Doctrine on Free Speech and Its Compatibility with the Marketplace Theory. Hastings Communications & Entertainment Law Journal, 35 (3), 391 – 428.

Bunker, M.D., & Calvert, C. (2013). Could Wild Horses Drag Access Away From Courtrooms? Expanding First Amendment Rights To New Pastures. Communication Law and Policy, 18 (3), 247 – 264.


Research Keywords

Communications Law, First Amendment Law, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Speech, Mass Media Law

Research Areas

  • Communication Law/First Amendment/Freedom of Information


Syllabi from the current and three previous semesters: