Adam Liptak is the Supreme Court correspondent of The New York Times. Since Liptak, a lawyer, joined the Times' news staff in 2002, he has contributed reporting and analysis on legal matters. He has written the column "Sidebar" since 2007, covering and considering developments in the law. Liptak covered the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor; the investigation into the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Wilson, an undercover CIA operative; the trial of Lee Malvo, one of the Washington-area snipers; judicial ethics; and various aspects of the criminal justice system, notably capital punishment. He was a member of the teams that examined the reporting of Jayson Blair and Judith Miller at the Times.
Liptak first joined the Times as a copyboy in 1984, after graduation from Yale University, where he was an editor of The Yale Daily News Magazine, with a degree in English. In addition to clerical work and fetching coffee, he assisted the reporter M.A. Farber in covering the trial of a libel suit brought by Gen. William Westmoreland against CBS. Liptak returned to Yale for a law degree, graduating in 1988. During law school, he worked as a summer clerk in the The New York Times Company's legal department. After graduating, he spent four years at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, a New York City law firm, as a litigation associate specializing in First Amendment matters.
In 1992, he returned to the Times' legal department, spending a decade advising the Times and the company's other newspapers, television stations and new media properties on defamation, privacy, newsgathering and related issues, and he frequently litigated media and commercial cases. In 1995, Presstime magazine named him one of 20 leading newspaper professionals under the age of 40. In 1999, he received the New York Press Club's John Peter Zenger award for "defending and advancing the cause of a free press." In 2006, the same group awarded him its Crystal Gavel award for his journalistic work.
Liptak has served as the chairman of the New York City Bar Association's communications and media law committee, was a member of the board of the Media Law Resource Center and has taught media law at the Columbia University School of Journalism. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Business Week and The American Lawyer. He has written several law review articles as well, generally on First Amendment topics.