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August 2017

Articles & Reports – Newsgathering Committee

in this issue

Criminal Expungement Provisions by State

MLRC’s Newsgathering Committee has complied the following state-by-state list of criminal expungement statutes and case law. The recent decision by the Court of Justice for the European Union in Gonzalez v. Spain recognizing a “right to forgotten” is currently being implemented in Europe. Although there is no analog under U.S. law, the European development has…

Access to Public Employee Pension Records

 Download Publication Prepared by Thomas J. Williams for the MLRC Newsgathering Committee* November 2013 In Oregon, a quick computer search reveals that 947 retired public employees draw annual pensions exceeding $100,000, with retired University of Oregon football coach Mike Belotti, who draws an annual benefit of $506,022, being the state’s top pensioner. In Texas, even…


Managing Materials: What Some News Organizations Have Done

 Download Publication By Steve Zansberg In response to recent events concerning subpoenas and search warrants by prosecutors aimed at documents and other records reflecting unreported news information (e.g., phone records, e-mails, etc.), news organizations have adopted a variety of measures to limit or reduce the generation and availability of such records. Below is a list…

Compendium of Judicial References to First Amendment Interests in Newsgathering

 Download Publication A. Newsgathering Tort & Miscellaneous Cases B. Access Cases C. Privilege Cases


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Supporting Documents: Model Policy on Access and Use of Electronic Portable Devices in Courthouses and Courtrooms

Federal  United States Judicial Conference: Considerations in Establishing A Court Policy Regarding the Use of Wireless Communication Devices  9th Cir.: Electronic Devices Policy  M.D. Ala.: Order on Photography, Broadcasting, Recording and Electronic Devices  E.D. Mo.: General Order on Electronic Device Policy  M.D. Pa.: Standing Order No. 05-3 on Electronic Device Policy  S.D.N.Y.: In the Matter…

Introduction to the 2008 Edition

 Download PDF As was true of the 2006 version of the Panic Book, the MLRC Panic Book (2008) is intended to serve as a desktop resource for attorneys who represent the news media. Its objective is to provide ready citations of precedent and other authority for use in responding to an “emergency” call from a…

A New Federal Law May Impede Public Health Reporting (HIPAA)

Download Publication Newsgathering Committee memo.


The MLRC Model Media Decorum Order for High Profile Cases & Supporting Memorandum

 Download Publication Introduction In a high-profile trial, the question for most state courts is not whether to allow camera access, but how best to control it so the court maintains the dignity and decorum essential to preserve a defendant’s right to due process and a fair trial.  A court’s strict enforcement of a well-drafted decorum…

Model Policy on Access and Use of Electronic Portable Devices in Courthouses and Courtrooms & Supporting Memorandum

 Download Publication Introduction The proliferation of portable electronic devices has expanded to the point that a vast majority of Americans now use and rely upon them.  The courts, in response, are struggling with a variety of issues raised by the pervasive use of these devices.  In 2009, three state courts of appeals threw out criminal…

Model Brief on Newsgathering Claims

A brief setting forth arguments and legal authorities to form the basis for motions seeking dismissal, either addressing the face of pleaded claims, or, after completion of discovery, for summary judgment, of various claims based upon the conduct of newsgatherers in obtaining the information that results in publication or broadcast of news reports.

Points for Discussion on Journalistic Use of Anonymous Sources

 Download Publication The question of how journalists and news organizations should use and effectively protect the confidentiality of journalistic sources has acquired renewed urgency in recent years, as a result of the push/pull of transparency concerns and journalistic credibility and subpoenas and discovery demands. Added to these sometimes conflicting pressures is the current state of…

Compendium of State Statutes Protecting Whistleblowers

 Download Publication In Garcetti v. Cellabos, 547 U.S. 410, 126 S. Ct. 1951 (2006), the United States Supreme Court held (5-4) that a governmental whistleblower, whose job responsibilities required him to report the information he revealed, did not have a claim, as a “citizen,” for retaliation based upon his exercise of his free speech rights…


Ride-Alongs Revisited: Privacy Issues Raised by Special Access Granted to News Media by Law Enforcement

 Download Publication In 1999, the Supreme Court decided Wilson v. Layne, holding that “it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment for police to bring members of the media or other third parties into a home during the execution of a warrant when the presence of third parties in the home was not in aid…

Model Brief on Jury Access Issues

MLRC Newsgathering Committee

This brief addresses several issues that frequently arise involving access to juror information.