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James Wheaton


James Wheaton is founder and senior counsel for the First Amendment Project, a public interest law firm which protects peoples’ First Amendment rights to learn about and participate in public affairs. He is also president of the Environmental Law Foundation, a public interest environmental justice program in Oakland.

Wheaton has played prominent roles in a number of civic and professional groups, including co-chair of the Society of Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter’s Freedom of Information Committee. He is the former executive director of California Common Cause; he also served as an Oakland Public Ethics Commissioner and as a member of the executive committee of the California State Bar Environmental Section.

Wheaton received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught at San Francisco State University and at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism since 1999.