Skip to main content
January 2004

MediaLawLetter November 2004


pdf Download Publication


Annual Dinner: Presentation of William J. Brennan Jr. Defense of Freedom Award to Ted Turner
Nearly 600 MLRC members and guests attended this year’s Annual Dinner

Ethics Corner: Confidentiality Risks for In-House Lawyers Overseas
Lawyers must remain cognizant of evidentiary privilege issues


U.S.: Senator Dodd Introduces Federal Shield Law Bill
Proposed legislation would create absolute privilege for sources

D.R.I.: Rhode Island Reporter Held in Criminal Contempt
Taricani scheduled for sentencing on December 9
In re Special Proceedings

D.C. Cir.: D.C. Circuit to Hear Miller, Cooper Contempt Appeal
December 8th hearing in Plame leak investigation
In re Grand Jury

Ill. Cir. Ct.: Illinois Reporter’s Privilege Trumps Interests of Private Litigants
Court focuses on “public interest” prong of test concerning statutory privilege
Smith v. Advocate Health Care Network

C.A.A.F.: Court Affirms NBC Outtakes Not Subject to Compulsory Process
Video outtakes not subject to production under the rules for Court-Martial
United States v. Rodriguez

Ohio Sup. Ct.: Ohio Supreme Court Dismisses Reporters Privilege Appeal
Appellate court held shield law inapplicable to gossip on radio show
Svoboda v. Clear Channel Communications


C.D. Cal.: ABC Prevails in Jury Trial on Hidden Cameras
Jury rules for defendant at trial after summary judgment motion denied
Turnbull v. American Broadcasting Co.

Ohio Ct. App.: Ohio Appellate Court Affirms Defense Verdict in Hidden Camera Case
Court upholds application of shield law privilege during discovery
AAA All City Heating v. New World Communications of Ohio, Inc.

Ala. Cir. Ct.: Alabama Jury Finds for Disney
Civil rights movie did not depict plaintiff in false light
Robinson v. Walt Disney Television

Pa. Sup. Ct.: Lawyer Who Gives Pleading to Reporter Can Be Held Liable for Defamation
Decision will make it harder for media to inform public of lawsuits
Bochetto v. Gibson

Ala. Sup. Ct.: Alabama Supreme Court Alters Standard for Proof of Common Law Malice
Decision makes it easier for private plaintiffs to overcome claims of qualified privilege
Wiggins v. Mallard

Tex. Sup. Ct.: Texas Supreme Court to Review Libel Case
Decision to grant review indicates court may reexamine summary judgment standard
Freedom Newspapers of Texas v. Cantu

Ca. Super. Ct.: Court Strikes Libel Suit Against San Francisco Chronicle, Barry Bonds and Roger Craig
Anti-SLAPP motion granted in unusual libel lawsuit
Carver v. Bonds, et al.

N.D. Cal.: Court Dismisses Sharper Image’s Product Disparagement Suit
Plaintiff failed to prove negative product review was false
Sharper Image Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc.

Ky. Ct. App.: Kentucky Court of Appeals Grants Summary Judgment to Newspaper Over Prom Photo
Court finds editorial was protected opinion; not ‘of and concerning’ plaintiff
Combs v. Knott County Publishing Company, Inc.

D. Colo.: Colorado Federal Court Dismisses Criminal Libel Challenge
Court finds college student lacks standing to bring lawsuit
Mink v. Salazar

Va.: Virginia Man Fined for Criminal Libel
Man fined while picketing outside former employer
Virginia v. Cary


N.Y. Ct. App.: New York Court of Appeals to Review Ban on Cameras in Courts
Court has taken appeal of Court TV challenging statute
Courtroom Television Network LLC v. State of New York

6th Cir.: Sixth Circuit Holds Media Can’t Be Barred From Polling Places
Election Day decision granted newspaper’s emergency appeal
Beacon Journal Publishing Company, Inc. v. Blackwell

Ill. Cir. Ct.: Speculation About Litigation Insufficient to Close Meeting to Public
Court rules school board violated state’s Open Meetings Act
Whitney and the Carroll County Review v. Board of Education of Thomson Community School District No. 301

9th Cir.: Ninth Circuit Reinstates § 1983 Claim Against Police Chief for Mistaken Arrest Under Washington Privacy Act
Plaintiff was arrested while videotaping police chief in public parking lot
Johnson v. Hawe


Ark. Sup. Ct.: Arkansas Supreme Court Upholds Newspaper’s Right to Recover Fair Market Value for Subpoenaed Photographs
Party cannot employ Rule 45 subpoena to avoid payment to newspaper
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. v. Judge Ellen Brantley

7th Cir.: Seventh Circuit Rules in Favor of CBS on ‘Survivor’ Trademark Claim
Defendant’s reality series logo does not infringe band member’s trademark
Sullivan v. CBS Corp.


8th Cir.: Eighth Circuit Explains Conflict Rules for Internet Defamation Claims
Presumption favors applying law of plaintiff’s home state
Fuqua Homes, Inc. v. Beattie

D.N.D.: North Dakota Upholds Personal Jurisdiction Based on Website
Court found “effects” of defendant’s website targeted plaintiff’s home state
Zidon v. Pickrell


EU: European Leak Investigation Threatens Confidential Source Protection
Court must balance interests of reporters against those of government

UK: Defamation Claim Against Schwarzenegger Aide Can Proceed in London
Court rules defendant must answer in England for statements made in American press
Richardson v. Schwarzenegger

UK: Right of Reply Update: Council of Europe’s Recommendation Moves
Forward but the UK Has Reservations
Recommendation unlikely to cause any new UK laws implementing the right of reply

ECHR: European Court of Human Rights Reverses Libel Judgment
Court rules one-sided reports on matters of public interest protected
Selisto v. Finland


ALI: ALI International Jurisdiction & Judgments Project
Focus on Proposed Reporters’ Note on First Amendment cases and public policy exception

D.D.C.: District Court Awards Damages in Wiretap Case
Court awards Representative Boehner $60,000 in damages
Boehner v. McDermott

California: California Voters Pass Open Government Constitutional Amendment
Proposition 59 passes with an overwhelming 81.3% of voter support