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January 2005

MediaLawLetter October 2005


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Brennan Award Winner Dr. Moor-Jankowski Dies

Legislative Update: Federal Shield Law, Cameras in the Supreme Court, EPA Regulations

Ethics: Looming Conflicts Between Lawyer and Client in Electronic Discovery


Ill. App.: “Battle Of The Privileges” in Illinois Supreme Court Justices Libel Suit
Court recognizes judicial deliberations privilege
Thomas v. Page

US Senate: Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Second Hearing on Federal Shield Bill

Mass.: Shield Law Bill Introduced

M.D. Pa.: Court Narrows Subpoenas to Reporters in Intelligent Design Case
Reporters will not have to discuss unpublished information
Kitzmiller v. Dover School District

D.C. Cir.: Court Address Standard for Administrative Agency Subpoenas to Press
Commodities Commission overcomes qualified privilege

Md.: First Amendment Protects Subscriber Lists, Maryland High Court Holds
Court holds subscribers have right of anonymity
Lubin v. Agora, Inc.


US: US Supreme Court to Revisit Question of Campaign Spending Limits
Court will review divided Second Circuit decision upholding Vermont law
Landell v. Sorrell

US: Supreme Court Denies Cert. in Globe v. Ayash
Won’t review $2.1 million default judgment
Boston Globe. Globe Newspaper Co. v. Ayash

US: Supreme Court Denies Cert. in Gates v. Discovery
California Supreme Court rejected private facts claim


Del.: Court Protects Anonymous Speech in Libel Cases
Public figure must meet summary judgment standard
Cahill v. Does

Cal. Super. Ct.: Newspaper Publisher Hit with $3 Million Default Damage Award
Refused to reveal sources for article, files for bankruptcy
Bohl v. Hesperia Resorter

N.Y. Sup. Ct.: Local New York Weekly Loses Libel Trial
Jury returns $105,000 verdict
Mann v. Abel

Mass. Super. Ct.: Trial Court Denies JNOV in Boston Herald Libel Case
Reduces award by $80,000
Murphy v. Boston Herald

Ala. Cir. Ct.: $1 Award in Alabama Libel Case
Dispute between reporter and source led to trial
Wiggans v. Mallard

4th Cir.: Fourth Circuit Denies Rehearing in Hatfill v. New York Times
Times to petition U.S. Supreme Court for review
Hatfill v. The New York Times Company

2nd Cir.: Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Libel by Implication Claim
Article “not reasonably susceptible to a defamatory connotation”
Seymour v. The Lakeville Journal Company

9th Cir.: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Public Official’s False Light Claims
Plaintiff fails to show actual malice in Las Vegas video reports
Harris v. City of Seattle

Cal.: California Supreme Court To Hear Libel and Privacy Case
Subject of science case study sues university researchers
Taus v. Loftus

Md. Ct. Spec. App.: Maryland Court Reinstates Trespass Claim Against The Baltimore Sun Over Interview of Former Congressman in Nursing Home
Issue of fact whether plaintiff consented to interview
Mitchell v. The Baltimore Sun Company

D.D.C.: Federal Court Dismisses Defamation Action Brought by Russian Oligarchs
No evidence of actual malice
OAO Alfa Bank v. Center for Public Integrity

W.D.Ky.: Sufficiency of Newspaper’s Correction Is A Jury Question
First application of statute that prohibits punitive damages after correction
Trover v. Kluger and Paxton Media Group LLC

NY App. Div.: Richard Grasso’s Libel Claim Against NYSE Reinstated
Statements implied undisclosed facts
Grasso v. The New York Stock Exchange, Inc., et al.

NY Sup. Ct.: Buffalo News Wins Summary Judgment
Strong Headline Makes for Strong Headline Law
White v. Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

S.D. Tex.: North Carolina Newspaper Not Subject To Personal Jurisdiction in Texas
Website, three subscriptions in Texas insufficient to confer personal jurisdiction
Anwar Ouazzani-Chahdi v. Greensboro News & Record, Inc.

Ga. App.: Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Man Not Covered by Anti-SLAPP Law
Law only applies where official proceeding is sought or initiated
Georgia Community Support & Solutions, Inc. v. Berryhill

PA Super.: Court Affirms Dismissal of Judge’s Libel Suit Against TV Station
Report about county judge was thorough and balanced
Manning v. WPXI, Inc.


S.D.N.Y.: New York Court Refuses to Enforce French Judgment
Enforcement would be incompatible with First Amendment
Sarl Louis Feraud Int’l v. Viewfinder, Inc.

UK: House of Lords Rejects Appeal Over Costs in Naomi Campbell Case
Success fee system not a violation of Article 10
Campbell v. MGN Limited

Ireland: Ireland’s Broadcasting Commission to Develop Program Standards
Standards will address issues of taste and decency


S.D.N.Y.: District Court Orders Disclosure of Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Photos
Danger of inciting terrorists insufficient to justify secrecy
American Civil Liberties Union v. Department of Defense

D.C. Cir.: Spec. Div. Panel Orders Partial Release of Independent Counsel’s Report in Cisneros Case
Investigation to Wrap Up After 10 Years
In re Cisneros

Wash. App.: Allegations of Teacher Misconduct Must Be Made Public
Public Has A Right To Know Unless Allegations Are “Patently False”
Bellevue John Does v. Bellevue School District No. 405

3rd Cir.: Court Rejects Effort to Re-Litigate “Military Secrets Privilege” Case
Court rejects effort to revisit 1949 wrongful death case
Herring v. U.S


N.M. Mag. Ct.: Suspended Sentence in New Mexico Criminal Libel Case
Defendant guilty of libeling police
State v. Mata

Fla.: Florida Editor, City Settle Arrest Lawsuit
Settlement Comes After State Statute Was Held Unconstitutional

N.D. Ga.: British Peer’s Claim Against U.S. Intelligence Source Barred by Statute of Limitations
DEA agent leaked information to The Times of London
Ashcroft v. Randel

1st Cir.: On Rehearing 1st Cir Holds That Stored E-mail is Covered By Wiretap Act
Employee of ISP can be prosecuted under federal wiretap laws
U.S. v. Councilman

N.D. Cal.: Lawsuits Challenge Three State Laws Restricting Video Game Expression
California law restricts sales of violent games to minors