MediaLawLetter November-December 2021
MLRC executive director dons his santa cap and gives newsmakers what they're owed.
A recent spate of high-profile cases, across the country, demonstrate that many judges, in both state and federal courts, are of the view that there is no presumption of public access to the names of seated jurors, not only at the outset of a trial, but even post-verdict.
At issue in the appeal were the names, investigated facts, and explanation of Mueller’s declination decisions for two groups of people: those investigated for campaign finance and computer intrusion offenses, and those investigated for making false statements to the government in the course of the investigation.
Affirming its well-established precedent on access to judicial records, the Eleventh Circuit recently upheld a district court’s order unsealing internal communications obtained during discovery and filed in connection with a motion for a preliminary injunction.
Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting (“CIR”) succeeded once again in challenging the government’s withholding of firearms data. But in its amended opinion, the Ninth Circuit cabined its prior holdings somewhat, including as to how to apply the OPEN FOIA Act.
A Florida judge has ruled in favor of Frontier Media Group, awarding attorneys’ fees under Florida’s anti-SLAPP law in a defamation claim that arose out of an updated version of a 2017 article the Plaintiff had previously sued about and lost.
West Virginia Court Applies Bartnicki and Affirms Dismissal of Wiretap Claims Against Fourteen Media CompaniesChad R. Bowman and Kaitlin M. Gurney
On appeal, plaintiffs offered a novel – if not bizarre – theory that their classroom conduct was only a matter of public concern within the state of West Virginia and thus Bartnicki did not protect the national media defendants.
Knight Institute and ACLU Ask Supreme Court to Revise Intelligence Agencies’ Systems of Prepublication ReviewWilliam Hughes
In their present form, agency prepublication review regimes are sprawling and vague, and they lack the substantive and procedural safeguards the Supreme Court has ordinarily required of licensing schemes.
The high court held that a state statute prohibiting the sealing of certain warrant information meant what it said, finding that the question “is not a close one.” But the path to the ruling was far from typical.
D.C. Federal Court Vindicates Key Arguments for Quashing Subpoenas to the Media in Associated Press CaseMatthew E. Kelley and Leslie Minora
A federal judge has granted a motion to quash by an Associated Press reporter on the basis of reporters’ privilege, rejecting several often-heard arguments from the proponent of the subpoena.
Federal Court Rejects City of Phoenix’s Subpoena of Video from Television Reporter Who Exposed Police MisconductKennison Lay
The judge concluded the city had not satisfied its burden to overcome the station’s qualified First Amendment journalist’s privilege.
The case will decide the issue of whether, and to what extent, a person who has not been charged with an offence can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to information that relates to a criminal investigation into their activities.