About the Center

Frank LoMonte

Frank LoMonte was named director of the Brechner Center in August 2017.

Previously, he was the executive director of the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) in Washington, D.C. since 2008.  During his tenure, he launched a number of major programming initiatives, including the “New Voices” initiative that has resulted in enactment of fortified legal protections for student journalists in 13 states, and the “Active Voice” fellowship program for college undergraduates to design “press freedom service projects” amplifying the voices of young women, who experience the brunt of school censorship.

Before joining the SPLC, LoMonte practiced law with Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP in Atlanta and clerked for federal judges on the Northern District of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Prior to embarking on his legal career, he was an investigative journalist and political columnist. He was the capitol correspondent for the Florida Times Union (Jacksonville), Washington correspondent for Morris News Service and the Atlanta bureau chief for Morris.

He was the Otis Brumby Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the Georgia Law School in spring-summer 2014 and has been a lecturer since 2015 in the University of Georgia Washington Program, teaching a course for undergraduates on “Law of Social Media.”

Frank received his B.A. from Georgia State University in 1994 and his J.D., from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2000 magna cum laude. His work on behalf of open government and journalists’ rights has been recognized with numerous awards, including the American Library Association’s “Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor” and the National Press Photographers’ Association First Amendment Award. The College Media Association offers an annual award in his name to honor special distinction in ethical journalism.

Linda Riedemann Norbut

Legal Fellow Linda Riedemann Norbut is a May 2017 graduate from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and is also a two-time graduate of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, earning both her bachelor’s in telecommunication and master’s in communication law. During her graduate and legal studies, Linda focused her academic interests to those legal issues faced by journalists, students, entertainers, and others who struggle to exercise their right to free expression. Linda is the former editor of the Brechner Report, a monthly publication focusing on Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine laws, and has won multiple awards for her writing on issues related to the First Amendment.

Katelyn Shoemaker

Legal Intern Katy Shoemaker is currently a second-year student at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. Prior to law school, she earned her bachelor’s in Legal Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. While in school, she worked in the Communications Department of the 20th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. There, she worked with Florida’s public records law to fulfill information requests by members of the media and private citizens. This sparked her interest in First Amendment law, and, specifically, rights of the press.

David Jadon

Legal intern David Jadon is a third-year law student at the University of Florida, where he is a member of the Florida Moot Court Team and the Florida Trial Team. During law school, he has worked as a judicial clerk with judges on Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit and as a summer law clerk with a utility company and a legal-aid nonprofit, where he worked on a variety of constitutional issues including student free-speech rights. David is a 2013 graduate of Florida State University, where he earned a B.S. in Political Science and History, and worked on the Florida Flambeau student newspaper.

Ashton Hampton

Graduate assistant Ashton Hampton is earning her master’s degree at the UF College of Journalism and Communication with a focus on media law, in preparation for entering law school. She earned her B.A. in Telecommunications and Digital Video Production in 2016 from Ball State University, graduating summa cum laude. During college, she worked as a photographer and videographer, covering a variety of college athletic events.