The attorney who represented the Richmond Times-Dispatch in the landmark First Amendment case guaranteeing the public a right of access to attend criminal trials died on Wednesday. Alexander “Sandy” Wellford was 78, the newspaper said.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia in 1980. "This bedrock of First Amendment law, of constitutional law, has been cited thousands — tens of thousands — of times since then in support of public access to court proceedings. It is an extraordinarily important legal principle,“ Wellford’s former law partner, Craig Merritt, told the Times-Dispatch.