Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Attorney and Award Winning Journalist
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Program Descriptions

  • Supreme Court
  • Network News
  • The Media’s Coverage of the Court
  • How to Deal with the Press

Biography Read more

Tim O’Brien is an attorney and an award winning journalist whose achievements include covering the U.S. Supreme Court for ABC News for nearly twenty-five years. He is a recognized expert on the Court, its Justices and on the development of a generation of constitutional law. He is the author (with Martin Clancy) of Murder At The Supreme Court—Lethal Crimes and Landmark Cases, published by Prometheus Books in February 2013.

Mr. O’Brien’s reporting has received the highest accolades of both the legal and journalism professions. The National Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded Mr. O’Brien an Emmy for his contributions to CNN’s coverage of the September 11th terrorism attacks. His television documentaries on the criminal justice system received the American Bar Association’s highest award (The Silver Gavel Award) as well as a Columbia-DuPont Award for Excellence in journalism. He also received a Columbia- DuPont Award for Human Rights Reporting for “Escape From Justice—Nazi War Criminals in America,” an ABC News documentary.

Mr. O’Brien’s reporting on the death penalty and alternative dispute resolution have also been recognized by the American Bar Association for journalism excellence. He is currently a contributing correspondent to the PBS Broadcast, “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.” His opinions on issues ranging from the death penalty to broadcast coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court have appeared on the Op Ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major newspapers around the U.S.

Mr. O’Brien is a “Distinguished Alumnus” of Michigan State University (from where he received his B.A. degree in Communications) and a member of the Board of Visitors of the Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans (from where he received his Juris Doctor law degree.) He also holds a M.A. Degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.

A frequent lecturer on the Supreme Court and legal issues generally, O’Brien was the keynote speaker at the Judicial Circuit Conference for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia meeting at Williamsburg, Virginia in 2002. In 2009, he was the keynote speaker for annual meetings of the state bar associations of Michigan and Kentucky.

Mr. O’Brien and his wife “Petie” reside in Kensington, Maryland outside Washington D.C. They have two children, Tracey and Tim, who have provided them with five grandchildren: Connor, Ryan and Jack McGee and Kathryne Hope and Quinn Olivia O’Brien.

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