Robert D. Lystad

Robert D. Lystad

Bob Lystad is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Baker & Hostetler LLP, concentrating his practice on First Amendment media law.

As counsel to the Society of Professional Journalists, Lystad helped lobby for the 1996 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, and currently is lobbying for the most recent proposals to improve the FOIA. He helped defeat a proposal in the late 1990s to amend the Sunshine in Government Act that would have permitted top agency officials to meet behind closed doors, and also worked to curtail secrecy in the military and other executive-branch agencies.

Lystad has successfully litigated Freedom of Information Act cases on behalf of media companies and other private businesses. On behalf of The (Baltimore) Sun, he and his colleagues secured release of hundreds of documents from the CIA detailing U.S. military training support for Honduran military soldiers; the ensuing series was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. On behalf of SPJ and other media companies Lystad has participated in dozens of cases seeking access to government records and meetings.

He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to law school, Bob was a reporter for States News Service, where he served as a Washington correspondent for the Florida newspapers owned by The New York Times Co.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.