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The Court of Law vs. the Court of Public Opinion: Finding Common Ground

Professional Development Workshop Set 4

Your Session ROI

Legal arguments and strategies tend to hold greater influence and control unless there is enlightened management. Moderator Stacey Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, senior counsel and partner, Jackson Jackson & Wagner; Michele Jalbert, principal, Effective Advocates Collaborative; and Thomas J. Jennings, partner, Yardley, Pa. office, Hill Wallack LLP, will discuss the issues and struggles of a legal strategy versus a public relations strategy and how the two can actually be worked together to succeed in both environments.

Session Materials


Stacey Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, partner, Jackson Jackson & Wagner

Photo of Stacey Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA In 33 years of behavioral public relations practice, Smith has counseled an extensive array of clients, from Fortune 100 multi-national organizations to small nonprofits.


Michele Jalbert , principal, Effective Advocates Collaborative

Photo of Michele Jalbert With an extensive communications and legal background, Jalbert is uniquely positioned to help bridge the gap between two often adversarial interests within organizations — public relations professionals and lawyers. Michele has managed communications, human resources and employee relations departments for international companies such as Liberty Mutual and Polaroid Corporation. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar, and a trained mediator.

In addition to corporate communications experience, she worked for Massachusetts Congressman Bill Delahunt, handling a wide range of issues as director of his Washington, D.C. office. Following her Capitol Hill experience, she served as chief of staff and general counsel for the New England Council, the nation’s oldest regional business association.

Thomas J. Jennings , partner, yardley, Pa. office, Hill Wallack LLP

Photo of Thomas J. Jennings Jennings is a member of the Business & Commercial practice group. He represents national and local business entities in a wide range of commercial transactions, with a particular focus on facility development and operations. Clients rely on him for guidance in structuring agreements with the public sector and the formation of public-private partnerships. Jennings works with industry leaders in solid waste and recycling, brownfield redevelopment, maritime commerce and renewable energy. He has served in a general counsel capacity as well as lead project counsel for major business operations.