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January 2006

MediaLawLetter January 2006


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Thank you Jim Stewart, DCS President 2005

Ethics: Future Conflict Waivers
What They Mean to You


4th Cir.: Cert. Petition Filed in Hatfill v. New York Times
Newspaper Seeks Review of Libel by Implication Ruling
Hatfill v. New York Times Co.

Iowa App.: Iowa Appeals Court Reinstates Sports Columnist’s Libel by Implication Claim
Sufficient Evidence That Newspaper Intended to Imply Unprofessional Conduct
Stevens v. Iowa Newspapers, Inc., and Susan Harman

E. D. Okla.: Court Grants Summary Judgment on Privacy Claims Over Publication of Open Casket
Photo of Soldier Killed in Iraq
Showler and Davidson v. Harper’s Magazine Foundation and Peter Turnley

Tex. App.: Texas Appeals Court Grants Summary Judgment to Religious Publisher
Cult Label an Ecclesiastical Matter
Harvest House Publishers, et a1 v. Local Church, et al

Mass. Super. Ct.: Motion to Vacate $2 Million Libel Verdict Denied
Murphy v. Boston Herald

S.C. App.: Book Publisher Can Appeal Denial of Summary Judgment
Public Figure Ruling “Affects a Substantial Right”
Moosally v. W. FY Norton & Company, Inc.

Pa. Comm. Pleas: Pa. Ct. Holds That Ordinary Discovery Standards Apply to Internet Libel Cases
Law Firm Entitled to Discover Who Posted Alleged Defamatory Statements
Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg & Ellers, LLP v. JPA Development, et al

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Court Dismisses “Terrorist Link” Lawsuit
Statements Not Of and Concerning Plaintiff Corporation
AAP Petroleum, Inc. v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

North Carolina: N.C. Paper Wins Summary Judgment in Libel Fight with Former County Commissioner
Bowser v. Durham Herald Company

D.D.C.: Federal Court Dismisses All Claims Over Advocacy Ad
Advertisement Criticizing AARP Was Non-Commercial Protected Speech
Raymen v. United Senior Association, Inc.

Cal. App.: Foot Doctor Strikes Out Against San Francisco Chronicle, Barry Bonds
Libel Suit Fails on Grounds of Truth
Carver v. Bonds, et al.

10th Cir.: 10th Cir. Hears Oral Argument on Constitutional Challenge to Colorado’s Criminal Libel Law
Thomas Mink v. Suthers, Buck, et al.

9th Cir.: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Gennifer Flowers’ Libel Case
Flowers v. Carville

Illinois: Statements About Preservation Dispute Not Defamatory
Statements Did Not Impugn Plaintiff’s Character or Abilities
Vigilante v. Pioneer Newspapers, Inc. and Beth Baxter


Texas: Texas Broadcasters Resist Grand Jury Subpoena for Unaired Footage
Subpoena Quashed in Part


California: The Cost of Protecting California’s Royalty
Assault Liability Under The Anti-Paparazzi Act


S.D.N.Y.: Department of Defense May Not Invoke Blanket Privacy Exemption to Withhold
Information About Guantanamo Bay Detainees
Associated Press v. United States Department of Defense

2nd Cir.: Second Circuit Says Access Requests Must Be Decided Promptly
Lugosch v. Pyramid Co. of Onondaga

Cal. App.: California Restriction on Access to Divorce Pleadings Held Unconstitutional
Burkle v. Burkle

N.H.: The New Hampshire Supreme Court Reaffirms, But Refines, the State Constitutional Right of Access to Court Records
Associated Press v. New Hampshire


N.D. Cal.: Copyright Claim Over Book Review Photo Survives Summary Judgment
No Fair Use as a Matter of Law
Harris v. San Jose Mercury News

D. Nev.: Google’s Cached Websites Not Copyright Infringement
Fair Use as a Matter of Law
Field v Google Inc.


9th Cir.: Ninth Circuit Dismisses Yahoo!’s Declaratory Judgment Suit Over French Action
No Personal Jurisdiction and/or Lack of Ripeness Bars Suit
Yahoo! Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme et L’Antisemitisme

Congress: New Law Prohibits Anonymous Harassing lnternet Communications
Could Raise Constitutional Questions If Applied To Web Sites And Blogs


8th Cir.: Eighth Circuit Rejects Media Liability as Conduit for False Advertising
American Association of Orthodontists v. Yellow Book USA

Colo.: Attorneys Not Exempt From Colorado’s Consumer Protection Act
Plaintiff Alleged He Was Misled By Firm ‘s Advertisements
Crowe v. Tull


France: France to Consider New Protections for Journalists’ Sources
Searches of Journalists’ Premises May No Longer Be Allowed

EU: A Right to “Short Reports” on Events of Public Interest
New EU Draft Directive

UK: UK Appeals Court Affirms Award to British MP
Tone of Articles, Lack of Comment from Plaintiff Defeat Qualified Privilege

UK: Financial Times Libel Case Settles on Eve of Trial