Levin College of Law

Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky

Raymond & Miriam Ehrlich Chair in U.S. Constitutional Law


Lyrissa Lidsky is the Raymond & Miriam Ehrlich Chair in U.S. Constitutional Law at Florida Law. The focus of her research and teaching is the intersection of Tort Law and the First Amendment, with an emphasis on defamation and free speech issues in social media.

Lidsky is co-reporter on the Restatement of Defamation and Privacy, which is now in progress. She recently succeeded Judge Robert Sack as the author of Sack on Defamation. She has authored Media Law and First Amendment casebooks, a reference book on press freedom, and dozens of articles, culminating in a recent article in the Virginia Law Review, co-authored with Professor Christina Koningisor, called First Amendment Disequilibrium. Her works have been cited by a number of state supreme courts, federal courts, and the highest courts of Canada and Hong Kong.

Lidsky was Dean of the University of Missouri School of Law from 2017-2022. Missouri Lawyers Media named Lidsky its 2020 Woman of the Year based on her scholarship, teaching and mentorship of students, and engagement of constituencies supporting the school of law.

Before becoming Mizzou Law’s dean, Lidsky held the Stephen C. O’Connell Chair in Law at UF Law and served in various associate dean positions. During her 25 years at UF, she has received a number of teaching awards, including student-selected awards such as Teacher of the Year and Faculty Graduation Speaker, as well as an award selected by faculty committee.

Before becoming a law professor, Lidsky served as a clerk for the Honorable Joseph T. Sneed of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, Calif. Lidsky received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law with high honors. She was initiated into Order of the Coif in recognition of her scholastic achievement and served as articles editor of the Texas Law Review. Before law school, she was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University in England, studying medieval legal history and early development of the Common Law. She received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in English and political science from Texas A&M University.


J.D., University of Texas (with high honors)
B.A., Texas A&M University (summa cum laude)

Teaching and Scholarship

Torts, Advanced Torts (specializing in Defamation and Invasion of Privacy), Mass Media Law, Internet Speech, Jurisprudence, First Amendment Law and Social Media, Freedom of Speech, Cyberbullying.




  • RESTATEMENT (THIRD) OF TORTS: DEFAMATION (preliminary draft 3) (2023).
  • FIRST AMENDMENT LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (Aspen) (4th ed. forthcoming 2022) (with Ronald Krotoszynski, Jr, Christina E. Wells & Caroline Corbin).
  • MASS MEDIA LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS, with Teachers’ Manual. (Foundation Press) (9th ed. 2016) (Co-Authors: Marc A. Franklin, David A. Anderson & Amy Gajda)
  • TORTS: THE CIVIL LAW OF REPARATION FOR HARM DONE BY WRONGFUL ACT (Matthew Bender 2009) (Co-authors: Joseph W. Little and Robert Lande)
  • FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, Greenwood Press Series on the Constitution (Co-Author: R. George Wright) (2004)

Book Chapters

  • The Gordian Knot of Defamation Reform, in Media and Society after Technological Disruption (Kyle Langvardt and Gus Hurwitz, eds., forthcoming 2023)
  • Making Defamation Expensive—But Not Too Expensive, in MEDIA AS A GOVERNANCE INSTITUTION (Cambridge University Press forthcoming 2022).
  • Recent Developments in the Law of Social Media, in COMMUNICATIONS LAW IN THE DIGITAL AGE 2014 (PLI November 2014) (with RonNell Andersen Jones).
  • Recent Developments in the Law of Social Media, in COMMUNICATIONS LAW IN THE DIGITAL AGE 2013 (PLI November 2013) (with RonNell Andersen Jones).
  • Recent Developments in the Law of Social Media, in COMMUNICATIONS LAW IN THE DIGITAL AGE 2012(PLI November 2012)(with Ron Nell Andersen Jones).
  • Legal Pitfalls of Social Media Usage, in SOCIAL MEDIA: USAGE & IMPACT (Hana Noor Al-Deen & John Allen Hendricks, eds., 2011) (with Daniel C. Friedel).


  • First Amendment Disequilibrium, __ Va. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2023)
  • Cheap Speech and the Gordian Knot of Defamation Reform, 3 J. Free Speech L. 79 (2023).
  • Aren’t We Special?: Article III’s Institutional Design, JOTWELL (June 27, 2023) (reviewing Merritt E. McAlister, Macro-Judging and Article III Exceptionalism, 76 Vand. L. Rev __ (2023), available at https://conlaw.jotwell.com/arent-we-special-article-iiis-institutional-design/
  • Defamation Law Reform: A Tort Remedy for Ultrahazardous Words?, JOTWELL (June 1, 2022) (reviewing Cristina Carmody Tilley, (Re)Categorizing Defamation, 94 Tul. L. Rev. 435 (2020)), https://conlaw.jotwell.com/defamation-law-reform-a-tort-remedy-for-ultrahazardous-words/.
  • Articles That Matter (Symposium): Post, Robert C., The Social Foundations of Defamation Law: Reputation and the Constitution, 74 Calif. L. Rev. 691), 25 Comm. L & Pol’y 491 (2020). [ Link]
  • Within the Labyrinth of Law, JOTWELL (May 1, 2020) (reviewing Robert C. Post and Jennifer E. Rothman, The First Amendment and the Right(s) of Publicity, 130 Yale L. J. 86 (2020), available at SSRN)).
  • Symposium Foreword: Whither the Fourth Estate? 83 Mo. L. Rev. 907 (2018). [SSRN]
  • #I U: Considering the Context of Online Threats, 106 Cal. L. Rev. 1885 (2018) (with Linda Riedemann Norbut). [SSRN]
  • OnionDNS: A Seizure-Resistant Top-Level Domain  Int. J. Inf. Secur. (2018) 17:645–660 (with Patrick Traynor, Rachael L. Jones et. al.) [SSRN]
  • U.S. Media Law Update, 20 Media & Arts L. Rev. 461 (2015) (Co-Author: Rachael Jones) .[SSRN]
  • Of Reasonable Readers and Unreasonable Speakers: Libel Law in a Networked World, 23 Va. J. of Soc. Pol’y & L. 155 (2016) (with RonNell Jones). [SSRN]
  • Privacy and the New Press, JOTWELL (March 16, 2015) (reviewing Amy Gajda, The First Amendment Bubble: How Privacy and Paparazzi Threaten a Free Press (2015)). [Jotwell]
  • Not a Free Press Court? 2012 BYU L. Rev. 1819 (2012) (symposium.) [SSRN]
  • How Not to Criminalize Cyberbullying, 77 Mo. L. Rev. 693 (2013) (Co-author: Andrea Pinzon) (symposium.) [SSRN]
  • Public Forum 2.1: Public Higher Education Institutions and Social Media, 14 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 55 (2012) (symposium). [SSRN]
  • U.S. Media Law Update, Media & Arts L. Rev. (2013) (Australia).
  • Incendiary Speech and Social Media, 44 Tex. Tech L. Rec. 147 (2011) (symposium). [SSRN]
  • Public Forum 2.0, 91 B.U. L. Rev. 1975 (2011). [SSRN]
  • Government Sponsored Social Media and Public Forum Doctrine: Perils and Pitfalls, 19 The Public Lawyer 2 (Summer 2011).
  • U.S. Media Law Update, 15 Media & Arts L. Rev.  (Dec. 1, 2010) (Australia).
  • Anonymity in Cyberspace: What Can We Learn from John Doe?, 50 B.C. L. Rev. 1373 (2009). [SSRN]
  • Nobody’s Fools: The Rational Audience as First Amendment Ideal 2010 U. Ill. L. Rev. 799 (2009). [SSRN] Reprinted in FIRST AMENDMENT LAW HANDBOOK, 2010-2011 EDITION (Rodney Smolla, ed.)
  • Where’s the Harm?: Free Speech and the Regulation of Lies, 65 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1091 (2008). [SSRN]
  • The Phases and Faces of the Duke Lacrosse Controversy: A Conversation, 19 Seton Hall Sports & Ent. L.J. 181 (2009) (published remarks).
  • U.S. Media Law Update, 13 Media & Arts L. Rev. 383 (2008) (Australia).
  • Medium-Specific Regulation of Attorney Advertising: A Critique, 18 Fla. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 259 (Fall 2007) (with Tera Peterson). [SSRN]
  • U.S. Media Law Update, 12 Media & Arts L. Rev. 387 (2007) (Australia).
  • Authorship, Audiences and Anonymous Speech, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1537 (2007) (with Thomas F. Cotter). [Link]
  • Brandenburg and the United States War on Incitement Abroad: Defending a Double Standard, 37 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1009 (2002). [SSRN]
  • Cybergossip or Securities Fraud? Some First Amendment Guidance in Drawing the Line, 5 wallstreetlawyer.com 15 (Glasser Legal Works 2001), reprinted at www.ucdavis.bizlawjournal.edu. (with Michael Pike).
  • Silencing John Doe: Defamation and Discourse in Cyberspace, 49 Duke L.J. 855 (2000) [SSRN]
  • Book Review, The Reasonable Woman and the Warrior Code, in Jurist: Books-on-Law  (2000).
  • Prying, Spying and Lying: Media Intrusions and What the Law Should Do About Them, 73 Tul. L. Rev. 173 (1998). [SSRN]
  • Book Review, SLAPPS: Getting Sued for Speaking Out, in FREE SPEECH YEARBOOK (1997) (with Joseph Beatty).
  • Defensor Fidei: Robert Summers’ Post-Realist Formalism, 47 Fla. L. Rev. 815 (1995). [SSRN]
  • Maintaining Order in the Post-Strike Workplace: Employee Expression and the Scope of Section 7, 15 Berkeley J.  Emp. & Lab. L. 87 (1994).
  • Intrusion and the Investigative Reporter, 71 Tex. L. Rev. 433 (1992).

Other Publication Activities