MediaLawLetter March 2023
Tennessee Journalists Prevail in Reverse Public Records Dispute Regarding Naomi Judd’s Death; The Court and the Press in the Murdaugh Murders Trial; Filmmakers & Netflix Win Summary Judgment in “Making a Murderer” Defamation Lawsuit; Utah Becomes First State to Regulate Social Media Use by Minors; and more.
MRLC's executive director on the Entertainment Law and Latin American Media Law Conferences, held in March.
The procedural battles were unique, to say the least. Ultimately, the media’s requests were fulfilled, and the Judd family voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit.
On balance, the press members who were in Walterboro deserve as high a grade as the individuals who worked very hard to fulfill the provision in the South Carolina Constitution that all courts are public.
Beyond denying the use of a categorical exemption, this case is a unique win because it marks the first time a court has ordered a search of documents when a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is at issue.
Courthouse News secured another victory in its efforts to preserve prompt access to electronically filed complaints, obtaining a preliminary injunction against the Franklin County, Ohio Clerk of Courts barring her office from restricting public access to newly filed non-confidential complaints, and directing her to make such complaints available to the public and press.
The Court’s summary judgment ruling was a ringing affirmation of Sullivan and the importance of legal protections for free speech.
Third Time’s a Charm: Tennessee Federal Court Dismisses Complaint Against Comedian Kathy Griffin for Lack of Personal JurisdictionMichael J. Grygiel
This decision contributes to a body of developing case law in which courts have refused to indulge forum-shopping attempts by putative plaintiffs aggrieved by criticism on social media.
The Court held unanimously that the statements were opinions in the context of the national abortion debate.
A defendant who prevails on an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss may recover its attorneys’ fees without the need to file a counterclaim or a separate lawsuit.
The road to enactment of UPEPA in Utah had its share of twists and turns. In the end, it was some good timing and the involvement of a respected former state legislator that made the difference.
Large Coalition of Media and Non-Media Groups Push Back on Proposed Changes to Texas’s Anti-SLAPP StatuteReid Pillifant
Eliminating the automatic stay would loosen free-speech protections for all Texans, but the bill stands to have a particularly detrimental effect on media organizations that operate in the state.
The Southern District of New York held that twenty-one of the twenty-two statements were not defamatory as a matter of law.
The two laws have drawn national attention in part because of the increasing focus on supposed harms social media platforms are causing minors, but also because they test, if not far exceed, the outer constitutional limits of regulating private speech.
The art world’s obsession with using RBG as its muse, lives on. As does legal controversy that surrounds that art and its reproduction.