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January 2006

MediaLawLetter September 2006


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Ethics Corner: Imputed Conflicts – In a “State” of Conflict


9th Cir.: Court Affirms Contempt Order Against Freelance Videographer
No Constitutional or Common Law Privilege in Grand Jury Context
Wolf v. U.S.

N.D. Cal.: BALCO Journalists Sentenced to 18 Months for Contempt
Punishment Stayed Pending Outcome of Appeal
In re Grand Jury Subpoenas (Fainaru-Wada, Williams)

U.S.: Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Federal Shield Law
Bill Unlikely to Come Up Before November Recess

MD. App.: State Reporters Privilege Applies to Financial Newsletter
Forensic Advisors, Inc. v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.


1st Cir.: Court Reverses $950,000 Libel Verdict Against Boston Phoenix
Remands for Full Retrial to Determine Plaintiff’s Status
Mandel v. The Boston Phoenix, Inc.

Fla. Cir. Ct.: False Light Tort Can’t Handle the Truth
Jury Rejects Policeman’s Claim Over Broadcast of Truthful Info
Lusczynski v. Tampa Bay Television

Conn. Super. Ct.: Summary Judgment to Libel Plaintiff
$150,000 Damage Award Against Self-Published Paper
Burgess v. Marino

Mo. Cir. Ct.: Directed Verdict Granted to Missouri Newspaper
No Proof of Actual Malice
Continental Inn, et al. v. Lake Sun Leader

Ill. App. Ct.: Court Reinstates Defamation & Disparagement Claims Over Newspaper Ad
Criticism of Competitor Capable of Verification
Imperial Apparel, Ltd. v. Cosmo’s Designer Direct, Inc., et al.

D.C. App.: Court Affirms That “FBI Informer” Is Not Defamatory
Assisting Law Enforcement Not Defamatory
Clawson v. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, LLC

Mich. Ct. App.: Libel Plaintiff Strikes Out
Articles About Former Baseball Star are Opinion / Hyperbole
Fielder v. Greater Media, Inc.

N.C. Ct. App.: Court Affirms Dismissal of Insurance Adjuster’s Libel Claim
Likening Plaintiff to “Gestapo” and “Soviets” Is Hyperbole
Daniels v. Metro Magazine Holding Co.

5th Cir.: No Jurisdiction Over North Carolina Newspaper
Paper Not Targeted at Texas
Ouazzani-Chahdi v. Greensboro News & Record

W.D. Tex.: Court Dismisses Pro Se Claims and Awards Rule 11 Sanctions
Filings Were Wholly Frivolous
Hamad v. Ctr. for the Study of Popular Culture, et al.

S.C. Ct. App.: Court Affirms Dismissal of Libel Action Against Newspapers
Paper Was Held in Contempt on Discovery Issue
Metts v. Mims

D.C. Super. Ct.: Court Protects Identity of Anonymous Internet Informant
Company Not Entitled to Discover Identity of Anonymous Whistleblower
Solers, Inc. v. John Doe

D. Ariz.: Summary Judgment Standard Applies to Plaintiff Seeking Identity of Anonymous Speaker
Court Adopts Cahill v. Doe Reasoning
Best Western Int’l, Inc. v. John Doe

Fla. App.: Court Awards Sanctions Against Libel Plaintiff’s Lawyers
Court Took Lawyer to Task for Inappropriate Rhetoric
Thomas v. Patton

11th Cir.: Affirms Summary Judgment for Amazon on Right of Publicity Claim
Republication of Book Cover Not a Commercial Use
Almeida v., Inc.

N.Y. App. Div.: Court Lowers Curtain on Stage Manager’s Libel Claim
Broad Scope Given to Labor Preemption
Hoesten v. Best


Canada: Media & Civil Liberties Association Challenge Searches of Ottawa Newspaper & Reporter
Searchers Were Part of Leak Investigation Under Anti-Terror Law


8th Cir.: Court Unseals Judge’s Bankruptcy Records
First Appeals Court to Address Sealing Creditor Names to Protect Reputation
In re Neal

D.C. Cir.: Court Finds FBI’s FOIA Response Inadequate
FBI Could Have Used Google
Davis v. Dep’t of Justice

N.Y. Sup. Ct.: Press Access Granted In High Profile Guardianship Proceeding
Media Interveners Gain Access to Filings in Astor Family Litigation
Matter of Astor