Lecturer in Law
Office: LC 2008F
Fritz Byers is in solo practice in Toledo, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Duke University (B.A. 1977), where he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the William T. LaPrade in American History. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School (J.D. 1981), where he was book-review editor of the Harvard Law Record and Director of the Civil Rights Action Committee.
After graduation from law school, Mr. Byers clerked for the Honorable William Wayne Justice, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. From 1982 through 1992, he served as a court-appointed special master to federal judges in the Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia, in New Mexico, and in Puerto Rico, where he was responsible for overseeing the implementation of court orders addressing the conditions of confinement in prisons and jails.
From 1990 to 2006, Mr. Byers was General Counsel to Block Communications (formerly Blade Communications), a multi-media communications company that owns and operates newspapers, television stations, cable television and telephone companies, and various web-based companies and operations throughout the United States. He frequently lectures and presents seminars to lawyers, journalists, and others in Ohio and elsewhere on the First Amendment, Privacy, the Internet, and related topics.
His publications include "Consensus Prison Reform: A Possible Dream," Impossible Jobs in Public Management, Hargrove and Glidewell, eds., (University of Kansas Press 1990); Special Masters and Prison Reform: Real and Imagined Obstacles," Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Spring 1988, Volume 3, Nos. 2; and "An Egalitarian Interpretation of the First Amendment," Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Vol 16, No. 2 (Fall 1981) (with John Shattuck)
Mr. Byers teaches Communications Law. The class explores in detail legal and practical issues arising in connection with various media: newspapers, television and radio stations, cable television and other video providers, and the Internet, including Internet-service providers, web-hosting companies, and web-publishing. Students identify, analyze, and critique the legal doctrines Ð constitutional, statutory, and common-law Ð that apply to these media, either individually or collectively. They also study how those doctrines have evolved and will continue to change, as the means of mass communication evolve and converge.