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January 2007

MediaLawLetter January 2007


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Ethics: Bragging Rights
Florida Supreme Court Opinion Raises Questions about Attorney use of Media Profiles

MLRC Bulletin: Articles and Report on Media Law Developments in 2006


E.D.V.A.: New York Times Wins Summary Judgment in Anthrax Columns Libel Case
Court Dismisses Case with an Order, Opinion to Follow
Hatfill v. The New York Times Co.

Ky. Ct.: App. Court Affirms Summary Judgment and Trial Verdict for Radio Host and Broadcaster
Decision Bolsters Protection for Controversial Speech
Divita v. Ziegler

Mass.: Court Reaffirms Narrow Scope of State Anti-SLAPP Law
Attorney’s Website About Litigation Not “Petitioning Activity”
The Cadle Company v. Schlichtmann

Mass. Sup. Ct.: Massachusetts Trial Court Denies Media Outlets’ Anti-SLAPP Motion
Religious Organization’s Defamation Claim Proceeds Under Narrow Interpretation of Statute
Islamic Society of Boston v. Boston Herald

N.D. Ill.: Libel Suit Against Freakonomics Publisher Dismissed on Innocent Construction Rule
Claim Over Author’s E-mail Survives
Lott v. Levitt & HarperCollins Publishers

Fla. Dist. Ct. App.: Florida Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment for Florida Newspaper
Fair Report Privilege and Opinion Defense Protect Paper
Rasmussen v. Collier County Publ’g Co.

Wash. App.: Fair Report Privilege Protects Article Based on Petition for Protective Order
No Judicial Action Required
Clapp v. Olympic View Publishing Co.

W.D. Tex.: Reporter’s Research of Forum Law Supports Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction
But Court Grants Forum Non Conveniens Motion
Epstein v. Gray Television, Inc.

Ohio Ct. App.: Ohio Appeals Court Denies Street Preacher’s Libel Appeal
Court Finds No Evidence that Media Defendants Acted with Actual Malice
Spingola v. Sinclair Media II, Inc.

Ga. Super. Ct.: Court City Manager’s Libel Suit Against Local Newspaper & Reporter
Plaintiff Cannot Show Actual Malice or Libel by Implication
Torrance v. Suwyn


Pa. Super. Ct.: Pennsylvania Appellate Court Affirms Absolute Protection of State Shield Law
Court Rejects “Crime-Fraud” Exception to State’s Shield Law
Castellani v. The Scranton Times, L.P.

Pa.: Supreme Court Nixes Surrender of Newspapers’ Computer Hard Drives
Finds Lower Court Ruling “Overbroad”
In re 24th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury


N.D. Ohio: Radio Station Gets TRO Against Toldeo Mayor
Denial of Access to Public Press Conferences a Likely First Amendment Violation
Citicasters Co., d/b/a/ WSPD Radio 1370 v. Finkbeiner

S.D.N.Y.: Government Drops Subpoena to ACLU Seeking Return of Classified Documents
Declassifies Document ACLU Had Received From a Confidential Source
In re Grand Jury Subpoena Served on the ACLU


Congress: Passes Telephone Records & Privacy Protection Act
Law Prohibits “Pretexting” and Fraudulent Attempts to Obtain and Sell Phone Records
18 U.S.C. 47 § 1039