Barbara was born a pet lover. As a little girl she sneaked home a puppy from a litter across the street, named her Peppy, and fed her milk from her dolly’s baby bottle. Her parents could not say no, and Peppy became a member of the family for some 19 years.
In her life outside publishing, Barbara is a licensed Ohio attorney and taught media law and ethics and various news writing and reporting courses for 10 years at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
In 2012, Barbara also served as co-director of Miami’s “Italy and the Renaissance,” six-week summer abroad program in Florence, Italy, having taught “Specialty Reporting in Journalism” (JRN 350) there for the summer of 2011.
Barbara received her juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University.
Through her bar association activities she organized an event at Miami featuring Dr. Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, which resulted in a $100,000 gift to the journalism program. She also co-authored “Top Paper in the Law Division,”
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Southeast Colloquium, March 4, 2006: “Applying Hazelwood to the College Press: Forum Doctrine and Government Speech in the U.S. Court of Appeal.”
A long-time supporter of women in the law, Barbara served as a president of the Greater Cincinnati Women Lawyers Association and she is a founding member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association. Nationally, Barbara serves as immediate past chair of the Teaching Committee of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law.
Before law school she worked at two small newspapers in Arizona before becoming a reporter for The Cincinnati Post where she won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Queen City Chapter, for her coverage of multi-million dollar cable TV franchising battles. As a lawyer she wrote a column for the American Bar Association Journal for three years. Barbara also engaged in the general practice of law in the family’s Butler County, Ohio, firm, with her father, the late Carl Morgenstern, a 1948 Harvard Law School graduate.
A former law clerk to three federal judges in Cincinnati, she participated as of counsel with the late John A. Lloyd, Jr., in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton, a public figure libel case. The Morgenstern law firm, with co-counsel Ron Burdge, also established the law on attorney fees in Ohio as relates to the Consumer Sales Practices Act. In Bittner v. Tri-County Toyota, Inc. (1991), 58 Ohio St 3d 143, her briefs helped persuade the Ohio Supreme Court to adopt the federal lodestar computation.
She also has worked as a a Visiting Staff Attorney at the First Amendment Project in Oakland, Calif., supervising interns from various, national law schools.