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Name and title: Martin B. Smith, solicitor for Scotsman Publications Ltd. and senior partner at Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co., Glasgow, Scotland age: 54 reading and representing: For a U.S. lawyer, having a newspaper client is a pretty sweet gig. Along with a steady stream of corporate work, newspaper lawyers enjoy the occasional First Amendment action in defending libel suits or reporters’ confidential sources. According to Glasgow solicitor Martin Smith, though, representing a Scottish newspaper is hardly a wee walk in the heath. “A lot of lawyers say they wouldn’t have my job for all the tea in China,” said Smith, the lawyer for Scotsman Publications Ltd., publisher of the Scotsman and the Edinburgh Evening News. “I carry a lot of responsibility on a daily-and nightly-basis.” Scottish newspapers, unlike London’s major dailies, do not have in-house counsel, instead hiring outside lawyers to handle their legal affairs. Smith largely fills the general counsel role at Scotsman Publications-counseling editors and publishers on editorial matters, regulatory compliance, libel prevention and defense, advertising and intellectual property. Smith recently had to cut short a trans-Atlantic telephone conversation about his job so he could drive the 40 miles to Edinburgh to read and redline the articles to be published in the next day’s papers. Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, but it maintains an independent legal system, and a separate bench and bar. Like England, Scotland has plaintiff-friendly libel laws and strict limits-enforceable by fines and jail terms-on reporting about criminal investigations and court proceedings. Smith occasionally finds himself explaining his newsroom judgments in court. In January 2000, for example, Smith approved an Evening News article about the arrest of William Beggs, who was charged (and later convicted) in a notorious murder and dismemberment of a teenage boy, whose body parts were dumped in Loch Lomond. Lord Advocate Andrew Hardie issued a contempt citation against the Evening News, asserting that the article threatened Beggs’ right to a fair trial. “The lord advocate decided that we had overstepped the line, and as the lawyer I had to put my money where my mouth was,” said Smith, who ultimately convinced prosecutors to drop the contempt case. In 1998, Smith took a chance on reporting another criminal matter-the arrest of the 17-year-old son of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, on marijuana charges. A London judge had barred English papers from identifying the minor defendant, but Smith concluded that the injunction didn’t affect late-day issues of the Scotsman that were not distributed south of the border. Smith confessed to some anxiety about his legal rationale after the Scotsman hit the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow. “If we got it wrong, it would be a major problem,” said Smith. However, the story turned out to be a U.K. scoop with no legal fallout, he said. scotland’s scribes: Edinburgh-based Scotsman Publications Ltd. publishes two of the major Scottish newspapers: the Scotsman (average daily circulation around 80,000) and the Edinburgh Evening News (daily circulation 72,000). The privately held firm is owned by David and Frederick Barclay, reclusive 68-year-old twin brothers who live in a castle on the English Channel island of Brecquo, which they own. The 800-employee company does not publish its financial information. minding the media: Smith has been Scotsman Publications’ principal lawyer since 1996. He reports to editor Iain Martin and publisher Andrew Neil. The Scottish bar includes solicitors, like Smith, who handle the broad range of counseling and representation matters, and advocates, like England’s barristers, who concentrate on the courtroom. Smith is senior partner at Glasgow’s Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co., a firm of solicitors founded in 1785 that has developed a media law specialty under Smith’s leadership. In addition to Scotsman Publications, the eight-lawyer firm represents the Scottish Daily Mail (Glasgow’s edition of the London tabloid), and several smaller weekly newspapers. defamation dangers: During his evening visits to the newsroom in Edinburgh, Smith reviews news articles, letters to the editor, movie reviews and even sports stories for potential libel problems. In the U.S., this daily legal review would be an unnecessary expense for publishers and a resented intrusion for editors. However, the practice is accepted among U.K. newspapers as a necessary precaution to limit defamation exposure, Smith said. “Your neck is on the line all the time. If you get it wrong, the courts will award stinging damages,” said Smith. “If we are careful prepublication, we won’t have so many problems post-publication.” British newspapers would clearly benefit from the type of First Amendment protection enjoyed by the American press, Smith believes. “It would give them a much freer hand to report on matters of public interest and matters concerning public figures,” he said, “although I suppose the corollary would be that there would be less work for newspaper lawyers.” caledonian copyright clash: The competition between Scotland’s two major newspapers-the Scotsman and the Herald, both based in Glasgow-occasionally gets testy. In 1999, the Herald challenged the Scotsman’s dominance of the lucrative Sunday newspaper market by launching a new weekend edition, which it heralded with an advertising blitz, announcing “No Ordinary Sunday.” The Scotsman on Sunday immediately countered with similar ads, bragging about “No Ordinary Sports Section” and other extraordinary features. The Herald slapped a copyright infringement suit on its rival, and won an injunction barring the copycat ads. Smith laughed off the Herald’s published claims of legal victory, noting that his clients were not ordered to pay damages or legal costs. “The whole thing was a spoiling exercise for their first edition, and we got away with it,” he said. from newsroom to courtroom: Smith grew up in Glasgow, where his father was a solicitor. After graduating from high school in 1965, he worked for three years as a reporter for a local newspaper in East Kilbridge, Scotland, “covering everything from flower shows to the local courts,” and for the Edinburgh Evening Times. Smith then followed in his father’s footsteps by enrolling in Edinburgh University’s School of Law. After obtaining his law degree in 1972 and completing a two-year traineeship at another Glasgow firm, Smith signed on at Bannatyne as a junior assistant. He was soon appointed as part-time “procurator fiscal,” or prosecutor, for the nearby town of Rutherford. In this position, the young lawyer once prosecuted-and lost-a shoplifting case that was defended by his father. Smith rose through the ranks of the firm to associate, partner and senior partner. personal: Smith and his wife, Morag, a nurse, live in Glasgow, and have a vacation home in the Florida Keys. He has two children: Iain, 20, a manager for British Midlands Airlines, and Cameron, 8. last book and movie: Tourist Season, by Carl Hiaasen, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, with son Cameron. -William C. Smith

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