Floyd Abrams

Senior Partner
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Floyd Abrams is a partner in the New York law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and is the William J. Brennan, Jr. Visiting Professor of First Amendment Law at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. His book, “Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment,” was published by Viking Press in April. Most recently he represented Judith Miller in the courts with respect to the CIA leak grand jury investigation.

Abrams has argued frequently in the Supreme Court in a large number of its most significant First Amendment cases. He was co-counsel to The New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case and counsel to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in its legal battles with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He has represented The Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, Time Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Nation, Reader’s Digest and other clients in trials and appeals. Abrams represented CNN in 1998 in investigating and issuing a report on its broadcast accusing the United States of using nerve gas on a military mission in Laos in 1970. In 1999 he again represented CNN in seeking to persuade the United States Senate to permit the public to view its deliberations as it determined whether or not to convict President Clinton of alleged high crimes and misdemeanors. In 2003, he represented Senator Mitch McConnell and the National Association of Broadcasters in a First Amendment-rooted challenge to the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation.

Abrams served on the Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Defense in 2003- 2004 and as the Chair of the New York State Commission on Public Access to Court Records in 2004.

Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan characterized Abrams as “the most significant First Amendment lawyer of our age.” He has received many awards, including the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award for outstanding contributions to public discourse and the Learned Hand Award of the American Jewish Committee. Abrams graduated from Cornell University and Yale Law School.