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January 2006

MediaLawLetter December 2006


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Ethics: Is it Ethical for Opposing Counsel to Communicate Directly with Inside Counsel
When the Company Is Already Represented by Outside Counsel?


Ill. Cir. Ct.: Jury Awards Chief Justice of Illinois Supreme Court $7 Million
Analysis of Trial and Verdict
Thomas v. Page

Ill.: Court Reinstates Lawyer’s Libel Claim Over Reference in Mob Book
Declines Invitation to Abandon Innocent Construction Rule
Tuite v. Corbitt

Fla. App.: Florida Supreme Court Asked to Decide If False Light Is Valid
Second Court in Two Months To Express Skepticism
Rapp v. Jews for Jesus, Inc.

Ga.: Georgia Supreme Court Cuts Back Protections of State Anti-SLAPP Statute
Statute Protects Statements Made at or Connected to Official Proceedings
Berryhill v. Georgia Community Support & Solutions

D. N.D.: Court Applies Single Publication Rule to Online Speech
Libel Claim Barred by Statute of Limitations
Atkinson v. McLaughlin

Ill. App.: Right of Publicity Statute Supplants Common Law Claims
Continuing Injury and Discovery Rule Addressed
Blair v. Nevada Landing Partnership

Pa. Sup. Ct.: Court Affirms Dismissal Of Former Basketball Star’s Defamation Suit
No Actual Malice in Story About Plaintiff’s Drug Problems
Blackwell v. Eskin

Pa. Sup. Ct.: Court Affirms Summary Judgment for Philadelphia Newspapers
Police Advisory Commission Member Held to Be a Public Official
Savitt v. Fraternal Order of Police and Richard Costello

Ariz. App.: Court Affirms $600,000 Jury Verdict Against Environmental Group
Sufficient Evidence of Actual Malice Found
Chilton v. Center for Center for Biological Diversity

N.D. Ind.: Libel Plaintiff Sanctioned For Hiding Her Criminal Record
Counsel Recommended for Discipline
Filippo v. Lee Publications, Inc.

Tx. Dist. Ct.: Dallas Morning News Wins Summary Judgment
Claim Over Unpublished Story Dismissed
Unified Housing Foundation, Inc. v. The Dallas Morning News

S.D.N.Y.: Diet Book Protected By First Amendment
Products Liability and Related Claims Dismissed
Gorran v. Atkins Nutritionals Inc.


UK & The Other Side of the Pond
Europe U.K. and European Law Update
Associated Newspapers v Prince Charles; Ash v McKennitt

UK: Sidebar on Ash v. McKennitt
Court Rejects Biographer’s Right to Disclose “Shared Experiences”


S.D.N.Y.: Denies FOIA Request of Photos of Guantanamo Prisoners
Request Barred by National Security
Associated Press v. U.S. Department of Defense

D.D.C.: African Journalist Wins Right to FOIA Discovery from U.S. Army
Rare Success in Seeking FIOA Discovery
Bangoura v. U.S. Dep’t of the Army

Mont.: Supreme Court Upholds Order Releasing Teacher Records
Newspaper Gets Employment Records of Teachers
Billings High School District No. 2 v. Billings Gazette


The Perils of Blogging
Harassment Law, Prior Restraints Applied to Fringe Bloggers
Ohio v. Baumgartner; Mitchell v. Trummel; Haberman v. Rhoad; Hargrave Military Academy v. Guyles

Discovering the Identity of Anonymous Speakers in Internet Defamation Claims
Roundup of 2006 Cases
Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers, LLP v. JPA Dev., Inc; Best Western Int’l v. Doe; Solers, Inc. v. Doe; McMann v. Doe


S. Ct.: Supreme Court Grants Cert. In Student Speech Case
Student Displayed “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” Banner
Frederick v. Morse

Survey: Survey of News Editors Shows Fewer Libel Lawsuits, More Awareness of Libel