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January 2004

MediaLawLetter September 2004


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Legislative Update: Defense, Patient Safety, Journalists Visas

Ethics Corner: The Timing, Love, and Tenderness Necessary to Effectively Represent Multiple
Clients in Settlement Negotiations


D.D.C.: Judge Denies NY Times Reporter’s Motion to Quash Subpoena in CIA Leak Probe
Court rejects common law privilege under Federal Rules of Evidence
In Re Special Counsel Investigation

Cal. Super. Ct.: Default Against Newspaper Likely to Lead to Damages
Owner refuses to reveal sources for allegedly libelous articles
Bohl v. Hesperia Resorter

N.D. Ill.: Northern District of Illinois Distinguishes McKevitt v. Pallasch, Quashes Subpoena for Reporter’s Notes
Court adopts reporter’s argument that notes are “confidential work product”
Hobley v. Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, et al.


Tex. Sup. Ct.: Finally: Texas Supreme Court Rejects Public Officials’ Libel Claim Over Political Satire
As matter of law, “reasonable reader” would not have believed satire was account of actual fact
New Times, Inc. v. Isaacks

W.D. Okla.: Jury Verdict for GQ Magazine, Writer in Oklahoma Libel Suit
Magazine not libel for invasion of privacy or defamation of former FBI agent Jeff Jenkins
Jenkins v. Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., et al.

E.D. Mich.: Michael Moore Wins Partial Dismissal of Suit Over Movie but DVD Held to Be Republication
Court bases decision on DVD’s inclusion of “special features”
Nichols v. Moore

Cal. App.: Libel Complaint Against San Diego Reader Dismissed
Huff v. Holman

E.D.N.Y.: Summary Judgment Denied in Libel Suit Over Learning Channel Broadcast
Trial to be held on issue of whether defendant’s actions were “grossly irresponsible”
Lehman v. Discovery Communications, Inc.

N.Y. Sup. Ct.: Restaurant’s Libel Claims Over Zagats Review Dismissed
Review of restaurant based on anonymous ratings held to be opinion
Themed Restaurants, Inc. v. Zagat Survey, LLC

C.D. Cal.: Lawsuit Over 20/20 Hidden Camera Report to Go to Trial
ABC will defend use of hidden camera in investigation of actors’ workshops
Turnbull v. American Broadcasting Co., et al.

Cal. App. Ct.: Defamation Claim Against Former Employer Subject to Arbitration
Defamation claim arising after discharge within scope of arbitration agreement
Buckhorn v. St. Jude Heritage Medical Group

Ill. Cir. Ct.: Local Politico Wins Libel Suit
$400,000 verdict stemming from column on college land sale
Board of Trustees v. Southland Community Newspaper

Tex.: HIV Disclosure Leads to Billion-Dollar Suit Against Dallas Newspaper
Implications for State Health Privacy Statutes, HIPAA
John Doe v. New Times Inc., et al.


7th Cir.: Chicago Wins FOIA Claim Over Gun Data
Chicago v. U.S. Dept. Treasury

Ky.: Kentucky Attorney General Rules HIPAA Does Not Bar Release of Police Reports
Police Department is neither a health plan, clearinghouse, nor health care provider

2d Cir.: Second Circuit Upholds Access to Judicial Documents Despite Confidential Settlement
Court allows access to documents despite confidential settlement; filing of a stipulation of dismissal
Gambale v. Deutsche Bank AG

Ky. App.: Kentucky Media Win Access to Voir Dire in High Profile Criminal Trial
Court recognizes press’ fundamental right of access to criminal trials
WHAS-TV and The Courier Journal v. The Honorable Judith McDonald-Burkman

D. Del.: Internal Investigative Report Attached to Bankruptcy Motion is Judicial Record Subject to Access
Court holds report became a judicial record subject to presumptive right of access upon filing
In re Peregrine Systems, Inc.

Pa.: Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Allows Access to Hearing Transcript in Closed Case
Newspaper intervenes in juvenile dependency case to ensure release of transcript
In the Interest of Kristen Tatar

U.S.: U.S. Admits Seizure of Reporters’ Tapes of Scalia Speech Was Wrong
Government admits liability under Privacy Protection Act of 1980
The Hattiesburg American v. United States Marshal’s Service


FCC: FCC Fines CBS-owned Affiliates $550,000
Superbowl halftime show indecent

3d Cir.: Third Circuit Court of Appeals Tweaks Earlier Decision on Media Ownership Rules
FCC rules governing ownership of newspapers and broadcast stayed; local radio rules to take effect


Germany: Germany Will Not Appeal ECHR’s von Hannover v. Germany Privacy Ruling
German news organizations argue rule constitutes censorship

France: Paris Appeals Court Upholds Acquittal of Princess Diana Photographers
Crash scene photographs not a privacy violation


U.S.: Petition for Cert. Filed in Morris Communications v. PGA
Antitrust claim over restrictions on use of realtime golf scores

N. Y. App. Ct.: New York Appellate Division Unanimously Dismisses Talk Show Tort Case
Television show not responsible for sexual assault of guest
Craver v. Povich

E.D.N.Y.: Court Okays Damage Award in Retaliatory Firing Case
Court upholds $30,000 damage award for former Brooklyn homicide prosecutor
Reuland v. Hynes

1st Cir.: First Circuit Tells District Court to Rule on Scope of Puerto Rico’s Criminal Libel Law
Press plaintiffs argue statute is unconstitutional as applied to statements of public concern

D. Colo.: Before Charges Are Dropped More Secrecy Ordered in Kobe Bryant Case
Media Challenges Plans to Conduct Individual Voir Dire Behind Closed Doors