October 19, 2006
Marines Order Attorney, Paralegal Not to Speak to Media About Prisoner Abuse
A military attorney and a military paralegal who are currently working on behalf of a Guantanamo detainee have been told they may no longer speak to the media about the claims of prisoner abuse they have asked be investigated. The attorney, Marine Lieutenant Colonel Colby Vokey, and his assistant, Sergeant Heather Cerveny, represent Canadian detainee Omar Khadr, who also has a civilian lawyer, Muneer Ahmad. Read more here.
Defendant Receives Life Sentence For Movie Theater Shooting
Larue Graves, arrested for last year's shooting of Sheldon Flowers in the lobby of a West Homestead, Pa., theater that was showing rapper 50 Cent's film "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", has been convicted of the crime, and sentenced to life in prison. The theater's management initially thought that the film, which had been criticized for its depiction of violence, had some link to the incident. Graves' attorney intends to appeal.
October 18, 2006
Music Industry Moves Ahead With Additional Lawsuits Worldwide
Reuters reports that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is filing lawsuits around the world against illegal file-sharers in an effort to curtail revenue losses and increasing piracy. Many file-sharers are minors so the IFPI is going after their parents. While much of the activity takes place in the US and Europe, the IFPI notes that other countries have also seen an upsurge in file-sharing popularity, making their residents targets for legal action. Read more here.
October 17, 2006
Are Lawyer Blogs "Advertising"?
Findlaw's Julie Hilden discusses state regulation of lawyer blogs here.
October 16, 2006
Citizen Journalism and the Reporter's Privilege
Mary-Rose Papandrea has published "Citizen Journalism and the Reporter's Privilege" in volume 91 of the Minnesota Law Review and as number 110 of Boston College's Law School Research Paper. Here is the abstract.
The reporter's privilege is under attack, and "pajama-clad bloggers" are largely to blame. Courts and commentators have argued that because the rise of bloggers and other "citizen journalists" renders it difficult to define who counts as a reporter entitled to invoke the privilege, its continued existence is in grave doubt.
The accompanying Article argues that this hysteria is misplaced. The development of the internet as a new medium of communication in many ways poses the same kinds of challenges to the reporter's privilege that courts and state legislatures have faced for decades as television reporters, radio commentators, book authors, documentary filmmakers, and scholars seek to invoke its protections. After exploring the history and purpose of the reporter's privilege, and the increasingly significant contributions of citizen journalists to the public debate, this Article makes a radical proposal: everyone who disseminates information to the public should be presumptively entitled to invoke the reporter's privilege, whether based on the First Amendment, federal common law, or a state shield law. Rather than attempting to limit the category of individuals who are entitled to the privilege by focusing on the medium of publication, the "newsworthy" nature of the desired information, or a "functional" approach that unconstitutionally requires judicial scrutiny of the editorial process, the focus should instead be on limiting the scope of the privilege itself. This Article offers several exceptions to a presumptive privilege that appropriately balance the public's fundamental interest in a vigorous and informed debate against its equally important interests in fairness and justice.
Download the entire paper from SSRN here.
Reaction to the Coroner's Verdict on Terry Lloyd's Death
Stewart Purvis, who was head of ITN at the time that British journalist Terry Lloyd died in Iraq, comments on the coroner's inquest and verdict. He suggests that the British government should press the U. S. for the names of those soldiers who opened fire on the civilian vehicle carrying Lloyd, who was injured, back to Basra. Read more here in the Media Guardian and here in the Chicago Tribune. Read a remembrance of Lloyd by colleague Ross Appleyard here.
Ronald Lauder's Eastern European Television Venture
Read about Ronald Lauder's eastern European media purchases and sales here in today's New York Times.
Former NBA Player Sues Chicago Tribune, Other Media, for Defamation Over Mistaken Identification
Former NBA player and current TV commentator Eddie Johnson has sued the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets for mistakenly identifying him as the man involved in an assault on a eight year old girl in Ocala, Florida in August of this year. The Eddie Johnson arrested in that case is also a former NBA player. The Associated Press got the story right, but the Trib and other outlets made an error, and the Mr. Johnson who is not under arrest is now suing. David Fish has blogged the story and provides a link to the complaint at the Litigation Blog here.
[Thanks to David for the heads up.]