Skip to main content
June 2018

MediaLawLetter May 2018

in this issue

MediaLawLetter May 2018

 Download Publication MLRC From the Executive Director’s Desk: September Media Law ConferenceMichael Avenatti, Hustler v. Falwell, Trump and Juries, Journalism Jeopardy Returns and More 2018 MLRC Digital Conference Focuses on Political Blowback Against Tech Companies 10 Questions to a Media Lawyer: Stephanie Abrutyn LIBEL & PRIVACY Minn. App.: Jury Verdict for Minnesota Media ReinstatedLarson v….

10 Questions to a Media Lawyer: Stephanie Abrutyn

Stephanie S. Abrutyn is Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel, Litigation, at Home Box Office, Inc. 1. How’d you get into media law? What was your first job? I was one of those people who always assumed I would end up going to law school, at least as far back as junior high school. I…

President Trump Violates First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Users, Judge Rules

Designated Public Forum Analysis Applied to Twitter Responses By Naomi Sosner In late May, New York Federal District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that President Donald Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking several Twitter users from posting responses to the President’s tweets. Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia Univ. v. Trump, 2018 U.S….

Goldman v. Breitbart: Court Distinguished “Server Test” on Facts, But Punted on Case’s News Reporting Character

From the Next Gen Committee By Terence P. Keegan Internet advocates are understandably troubled by a recent New York federal court ruling in February that “embedding” an image from one web page within another can infringe copyright, regardless of the embedded image’s inherent link back to its source. Goldman v. Breitbart News Network, LLC et…


Mexican Journalist Seeking Asylum Is Granted New Hearing

By Steven D. Zansberg, Mark Flores, and Chuck Tobin On May 25, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Immigration Appeals granted Mexican journalist Emilio Gutiérrez-Soto and his son, Oscar – detained in an El Paso, Texas facility for the past six months – a new hearing at which they can submit additional evidence…


North Carolina Court Orders Release of Police Recordings in Beating Incident

Public Access “Necessary to Advance a Compelling Public Interest” By Michael Tadych At approximately 10:20 p.m. on Tuesday 3 April 2018, in Raleigh, North Carolina, multiple law enforcement officers from the State Highway Patrol, Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the Raleigh Police Department encountered Kyron Dwain Hinton, 29, in a public right of way near…


Fifth Circuit Suggests Local Rules Limiting Post-Trial Contact with Jurors May Be Unconstitutional

By Emily Rhine and Tom Leatherbury The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of both plaintiff’s motion for new trial and plaintiff’s counsel’s post-trial motion for leave to interview jurors, following Fifth Circuit precedent and holding that the privacy interests of jurors outweighed any First Amendment interests lawyers may have in interviewing jurors…


2018 MLRC Digital Conference Focuses on Political Blowback Against Tech Companies

In a year that has seen the tech industry embroiled in controversy, including fallout from Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Congress asserting itself in enacting FOSTA – a significant new exception to Section 230 – the 2018 Legal Frontiers in Digital Media conference (May 17-18) focused on the changing…


Sarah Palin Asks Second Circuit to Reinstate Libel Suit Over NYT Editorial

Appeal Challenges Unusual Iqbal Hearing Conducted by Judge Rakoff Last summer, Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed with prejudice Sarah Palin’s defamation suit over a New York Times editorial, concluding her allegations of actual malice failed to meet the Iqbal plausibility standard. Palin v. The New York Times Company, 264 F. Supp. 3d 527 (S.D.N.Y. 2017). Judge…


NJ High Court Issues Online Republication Standard

Material and Substantive Change to Original Article Required By Bruce S. Rosen The New Jersey Supreme Court has provided long-awaited guidance on what kind of changes to Internet postings are significant enough to trigger the single publication rule. In Petro-Lubricant Testing Laboratories, Inc. v. Adelman, No. 078597 (May 7, 2018), the Court ruled that “republication…


Publication of Trump Dossier May be Protected by Fair Report Privilege

Buzzfeed Alleged Facts That Dossier Was Part of an Official Proceeding By Adam Lazier More than a year and a half after BuzzFeed’s decision to publish a controversial “dossier” of intelligence reports about connections between Donald Trump and Russia, a court has finally weighed in. The decision vindicates BuzzFeed’s argument that its decision to publish…

Texas Supreme Court: “Cabins” Implied Defamation

Summary Judgment Reinstated in Suit Over Column That Disclosed a Suicide After Misleading Obituary By Paul C. Watler A newspaper column was reasonably capable of defaming by implication parents who published a misleading obituary about the death of their 17-year old son. But, applying First Amendment principles, a libel suit by the parents must be…

Jury Verdict for Minnesota Media Reinstated

By Tom Curley A Minnesota appellate court has reinstated a jury verdict in favor of the St. Cloud Times and KARE 11 television arising out of news reports of the arrest of a suspect in the ambush killing of a police officer. The murder suspect – who would eventually be exonerated – sued the media…

September Media Law Conference: Michael Avenatti, Hustler v. Falwell, Trump and Juries, Journalism Jeopardy Returns and More

From the Executive Director’s Desk My job here at the MLRC is quite varied: among other tasks, it involves negotiating lease agreements with our landlord and sub-tenants; choosing and inviting speakers to our Annual Dinner – and this November’s will be quite a doozy, more on that later; overseeing our great staff; reporting to (and…