Hugh Stevens is both a nationally known First Amendment and media lawyer and a versatile litigator. For more than 20 years Hugh served as general counsel to the North Carolina Press Association, which honored him in 2002 with its W. C. Lassiter Award in recognition of his zealous defense of the First Amendment. In 2006 he became only the second lawyer elected to the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame.
Hugh continues to serve as counsel to the North Carolina Press Foundation, the North Carolina Open Government Coalition, and numerous news organizations, including The News & Observer and Capitol Broadcasting Co.
Hugh's significant cases include two that dramatically affected the law of privacy in North Carolina - Renwick v. News and Observer Pub. Co., in which the North Carolina Supreme Court declined to recognize the "false light" tort, and Hall v. Post, in which the court rejected "private facts" claims. More recently he was lead counsel for the plaintiff in Womack Newspapers, Inc. v. Town of Kitty Hawk, et al., 181 N.C. App. 1 (2007), in which a weekly newspaper obtained the largest attorney fee award ever paid pursuant to the North Carolina Public Records Law.
Hugh also is a versatile and experienced teacher. From 1985 through 2002 he taught a course entitled "Free Press and Public Policy" at Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. In 2008 he taught First Amendment Law as a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law.