Michael Giudicessi


Sine 1981, Michael Giudicessi has worked with journalists to secure access and accountability under freedom of information laws, to keep courtrooms and court records open, to protect reporters from forces disclosure of source names and unpublished information, and to defend against defamation and privacy claims. His clients have sued the governor, public universities, local agencies, and even the Iowa Public Information Board. They won rulings outlawing secret settlements and releasing audits. They unsealed government documents and kept court records accessible. They opened meetings. Giudicessi, a Des Moines native, received his Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 1976 where he was a member of the Kappa Tau Alpha scholastic honorary group. He earned his law degree with distinction from the University of Iowa in 1979. In 1990, Giudicessi and two partners opened what no is the 34-lawyer Iowa office of national firm Faegre Baker Daniels. He continues his practice there today where he handles media and content issues, as well as serves as the senior partner of a five-member employment law defense team. Giudicessi served as Iowa Freedom of Information Council president in 1988. He has received that group's Friend of the First Amendment honor, the Iowa Newspaper Association's distinguished service award in 2015, and induction into the National Freedom of Information Coalition's Hall of Fame in 2017. Best Lawyers in America recognized Giudicessi in 2017 for First Amendment work, as it has for more than 20 consecutive years. What is the greatest challenge in today’s digital landscape? The greatest challenge posted by today's digital landscape is maintenance of quality content and professional integrity within a sustainable business model. What is the greatest opportunity in today’s digital landscape? Origination of unique, local content that meets the immediacy of the medium and that engages the full range of mobile delivery and archiving capabilities stands as the greatest opportunity in today's digital landscape. What should students graduating from the Greenlee School know about today’s digital landscape? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's counsel still applies: "It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong."