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Sandy Wellford, First Amendment attorney, dies in Richmond

Alexander “Sandy” Wellford, a retired Richmond attorney and First Amendment expert, died Wednesday at his home in Glen Allen. He was 78

Mr. Wellford, a partner at what is now Christian& Barton LLP for more than 40 years, played a key role in Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia, the 1980 U.S. Supreme Court case that decided the public has a constitutional right of access to criminal trials. He represented many of the state’s largest media outlets on First Amendment issues.

The Times-Dispatch has an obituary with comments by Craig T. Merritt, Mr. Wellford’s protégé in First Amendment law at the firm.

By Alan Cooper