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January 2006

MediaLawLetter April 2006


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Legislative: Cameras in Courts, Executive Branch Reform Act

Ethics: Inadvertent Disclosure of Confidential Materials


Cal.: Supreme Court Protects “Friends” Writers From Sexual Harassment Claim
Writers’ Sex Jokes and Vulgar Language Not Harassment
Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Productions

Cal. Super. Ct.: Barry Bond’s Motion to Freeze Book Profits Rejected
Claimed Publishers and Authors Violated Unfair Competition Law
Bonds v. Fainaru-Wada, et al.


S.D.N.Y.: Declaratory Judgment Suit Dismissed
No Personal Jurisdiction Over Saudi Defendant
Ehrenfeld v. Bin Mahfouz

N.J. App.: Court Reverses Class Certification for Privacy Claims Over ER Filming
Plaintiffs Did Not Establish Common Questions of Law and Fact
Castro v. NYT Television

D.C. Cir.: Motion for Rehearing En Banc Filed in Wiretap Case
Panel Ruling Inconsistent with Bartnicki
Boehner v. McDermott

Minn. App.: Court Affirms in Part Public Figure Libel Verdict
Case Remanded for Retrial on Damages
Workman v. Southwest Publishing Co.

S.C.: Supreme Court Reverses Directed Verdict for Newspaper
Reinstates Disputed Mid-trial Liability Verdict
Erickson v. Jones Street Publishers

D.C. Cir.: Libel Suit Over Congressman’s Statement to Press Dismissed
Statements to Press Within Scope of Official Duties
Council on American Islamic Relations v. Ballenger

Ga. App.: Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment to Newspaper
Statements Were True, Protected Opinion or Privileged
Austin v. PMG d/b/a The Times-Georgian

Conn. Super.: Summary Judgment for Newspaper for Report About Libel Suit
Article Protected by Fair Comment and Report Privileges
Clark v. Hagedorn Communications

NY App.: Court Rejects Claim Over One-Party Taping in California
California’s One-Party Consent Rule Did Not Apply
Locke v. Aston

Ohio Pleas Ct.: Cincinnati News Station Wins Defamation Case
Statements Substantially True or Not Defamatory
Groene v. WCPO-TV

Ariz. Dist. Ct.: Million Dollar Jury Award in Libel Suit by Broker Against Shareholders’ Lawyer
First Time a Broker Has Won a Libel Suit Over Allegations of Harm to Investors
Spartis v. Goldberg


N.Y. Sup.: Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge to New York’s Shield Law
First Known Attempt By Criminal Defendant to Challenge Constitutionality
People v. Hendrix

E.D.N.Y.: Subpoena For Newsgathering Materials Quashed in Criminal Trial
Mafia Murder Defendant Sought Information About Book on Case
U.S. v. Caracappa and Eppolito

Mo.: Missouri Reporter’s Privilege Bill Fails to Make it Out of Committee
Some Believed Bill Was Too Press Friendly

SEC: SEC Releases Policy Statement on Media Subpoenas
Guidelines on Media Subpoenas

D.D.C.: News Organizations Move to Block Subpoenas in Libby Case
U.S. v. Libby

Minn. App.: Court of Appeals Applies Absolute Judicial-Proceedings Immunity to Claims for Breach of Confidence
Immunity Should Protect a Reporter Who Identifies a Confidential Source
Mahoney & Hagberg v. Newgard


France: Court Allows Criminal Libel Case Against The Times to Proceed
Rejects Jurisdictional Challenge


Del.: Supreme Court Bars Disclosure of Autopsy Information
Statutory Right of Privacy Bars Disclosure
Lawson v. Meconi

S.D. Fla.: Cloud Over Hurricane Relief Disbursements Lifts
Substantial Public Interest in Assessing FEMA’s Performance
Sun Sentinel Company v. U.S. Dept. Homeland Security