James Slater is the attorney representing Jack Sweeney, the University of Central Florida student known for tracking the private jets of celebrities, including Taylor Swift, using publicly available Federal Aviation Administration data. This case caught public attention when Swift’s legal team sent Sweeney a cease-and-desist letter, expressing concerns over the safety and privacy implications of tracking her private jet movements. Swift’s legal team argued that Sweeney’s activities could potentially endanger Swift by revealing her location in real-time, a claim that raised significant debate around privacy, public information, and celebrity culture.

Slater, identified as a Florida attorney specializing in free speech issues, has come to Sweeney’s defense, arguing that the tracking of Swift’s jet, which is based on public information, does not constitute illegal behavior. He emphasized the importance of transparency and public interest in such information, especially considering the environmental impact highlighted by the carbon emissions of private jets. Slater and Sweeney’s stance is that the tracking activity is a form of transparency and public service, highlighting the environmental implications of frequent private jet use by celebrities.

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James Slater’s background is as diverse as it is impressive, making him uniquely suited to handle such a high-profile case. He is a Florida-based lawyer with licenses to practice in several states, including Florida, Washington, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, as well as various federal district and appellate courts. His legal practice covers a broad range of issues, including intellectual property, speech, and civil rights, with a particular focus on defending against copyright trolls and holding government actors accountable for their treatment of prisoners and detainees.

Before his legal career, Slater worked in Russia in the administration of a U.S. State Department program and as a Russian interpreter and translator. He holds degrees from the University of Miami, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida. Slater’s international experience and his commitment to civil rights and free speech make him a formidable advocate in cases that touch on these critical issues.

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Slater’s work on behalf of Sweeney is just the latest in his career of advocating for free speech and transparency. By challenging the cease-and-desist letter from Swift’s legal team, Slater is not just defending a single client but is also making a broader statement about the importance of public information and the rights of individuals to share that information in the age of digital media. This case underscores ongoing tensions between privacy concerns and the public’s right to information, particularly in the context of environmental activism and the scrutiny of public figures’ contributions to carbon emissions.