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January 2004

MediaLawLetter May 2004


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Prepublication Committee Report: Is Sixteen Old Enough?

Ethics Corner: Legal Paladins May “Roam,” But Not with Impunity
State laws still impede free movement of lawyers and legal services


S.Ct.: Turns Down Female Fighter Pilot’s Libel Appeal
Lohrenz v. Donnelly

S. Ct.: Refuses to Hear Copyright Damages Case
Los Angeles News Service v. Reuters Television International, Ltd.

S.Ct.: Denies Cert. in Missouri Limited Purpose Public Figure Doctrine Case
Sigafus v. St. Louis Dispatch LLC

S.Ct.: Refuses to Review California Police Libel Case
Kinder v. Loshonkohl


Id. Dist. Ct.: Jury Gives Goose Egg to Libel Plaintiff for Video Footage Mistake
Week long trial ends wit jury finding no liability for TV report
Arnzen and Bryden Pawnshop, Inc. v. Fisher Broadcasting, Inc. et al.

Pa.: State Supreme Court Dismisses Anti-Rap Activist’s Libel Suit
Plaintiffs failed to plead sufficient facts to prove actual malice
Tucker v. Philadelphia Daily News

S.D.N.Y.: Condit Slander Suit Against Vanity Fair’s Dominick Dunne to Proceed
Statements about the disappearance of Chandra Levy survive initial motion to dismiss
Condit v. Dunne

Cal. App.: California Court Applies Single Publication Rule to Internet
Decision accentuates need to protect web publishers from perpetual liability
The Traditional Cat Assoc., Inc. v. Gilbreath

N.Y.A.D.: Court Affirms Dismissal of Libel Claim Against Newsday – Reinstates Trespass Claim
Suggests trespass plaintiff can overcome dismissal by pleading nominal damages
Mondello v. Newsday, Inc.

Pa. Ct. C.P.: Post-Trial Motions Narrow Claims in McDermott v. Biddle
Court concluded many of claims claims were non-actionable under Milkovich
McDermott v. Biddle

Cal. App.: California Court Strikes Libel Suit Against LA Times
Grants Anti-SLAPP motion over reports on inaccuracies in CEO’s public resume
Page v. Los Angeles Times

Kan. App.: Hearing Scheduled in Appeal of Criminal Libel Convictions in Kansas
Press seek to challenge constitutionality of state statute
Kansas v. Powers

11th Cir.: Florida Editor Appeals Dismissal of Suit Over Arrest
Reporter was arrested under state law that restricts reporting on police misconduct
Cooper v. Dillon

N.J.: State Supreme Court Dismisses Libel Suit Against Newsletter Publisher
Defendant’s motive to strike back at plaintiff not enough to prove actual malice
Hill v. DeAngelis


11th Cir.: Interlocutory Appeal Granted in Sports Illustrated Libel Case
District Court judge issues order allowing magazine to appeal shield law ruling
Price v. Time, Inc.


D.N.J.: Anti-Cybersquatting Suit Against Consumer Complaint Website Dismissed
“Cyber-griper” was motivated by dissatisfaction with services rather than profit
Mayflower Transit, LLC v. Prince

9th Cir.: Grants Rehearing En Banc in v. L.L. Bean
Will revisit whether California has jurisdiction over clothing retailer v. L.L. Bean

D.D.C.: Section 230 Protects Adult Website, but Not Consumer Complaint Site
N.D. Texas Ramey v. Darkside, MCW v.


Cal. Super. Law Firm’s Efforts to Obtain Prior Restraint Against Newspaper and Reporter Fail
Jones Day drops effort to prevent reports based on legally acquired documents


D.C. Cir.: Limits Scope of the Presidential Communications Privilege
Divided panel holds privilege does not cover certain documents in pardon decisions
Judicial Watch , Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice

S.D.: State Supreme Court Rules Governor Has No Power to Seal Pardons
Court held governor has no statutory or constitutional right to seal; did not address media access
Doe v. Nelson

N.J. App.: Court Reverses Contempt Findings Against Four Philadelphia Inquirer Reporters
Court found no evidence that reporters had violated the order

Mont.: Montana University “Policy Committee” Meetings Must Be Open to the Public
Court rejected argument that meetings were informal, staff gatherings
Associated Press v. Crofts

Ohio: State Supreme Court Rejects Newspaper’s Request for Sealed Criminal Trial Record
Court held state statute was not unconstitutional on its face or as applied
State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Winkler


2d Cir.: Vacates Injunction Against Penguin Putnam
Court questions whether plaintiff’s compilation of poet’s works merits copyright protection
Silverstein v. Penguin Putnam, Inc.

2d Cir.: Considers Impact of Bad Faith in Fair Use Test
Bad faith must be weighed, but it is not a dispositive factor
NXIVM Corporation and First Principles, Inc. v. The Ross Institute, et al.


U.K.: Naomi Campbell Wins Media Privacy Case in UK’s Highest Court
Divided panel reinstates trial judge’s award of damages of £3,500
Campbell v. MGN Ltd.

New Zealand: Court of Appeal Recognizes Invasion of Privacy Tort
Three judges supported tort while two opposed it
Hosking v. Runting, Pacific Magazines NZ Limited & Ors

U.K.: Court of Appeal Decision May Curb No Win No Fee Libel Costs
New regime would cap costs in advance for libel lawyers acting on conditional fee
Adam Musa King v. Telegraph Group Limited

Intl.: International Media Law Round-up
Exploring recent developments in France, Korea, Australia and South Africa

Australia: High Court Applies Qualified Privilege
Bashford v. Information Australia

Canada: ISP Liability: Canada Proposes Copyright Reforms
New legislation is likely to be introduced in 2005


S.D. Miss.: Associated Press and Gannett Sue U.S. Marshals Over Scalia Tape Seizure
Complaint alleges conduct violated First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments
The Hattiesburg American v. U.S. Marshals Service

D. Md.: Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment for Publisher
Trial on damages for newspaper raid by off-duty sheriff’s deputies scheduled for December
Rossignol v. Voorhaar

4th Cir.: Sex, Minors and the Internet: 4th Cir. Rules Virginia Law Unconstitutional
Statute imposes unconstitutional burden on adult speech and violates Commerce Clause
PSInet v. Chapman