Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The President of Central Connecticut State University announced that the school's soccer coach, Shaun Green, will be suspended for 60 days without pay and will not be allowed to coach four games during the team's upcoming season after he threw away copies of the school's newspaper, apparently in response to an unflattering story about him. Mr. Green must also reimburse the newspaper for the cost of the copies.The team's assistant coach will lose his job. More here from the local Fox affilitate and here in a story from the Hartford Courant.
RonNell Anderson Jones, Brigham Young University Law School, is publishing Rethinking Reporter's Privilege in the Michigan Law Review. Here is the abstract.
Forty years ago, in Branzburg v. Hayes, the Supreme Court made its first and only inquiry into the constitutional protection of the relationship between a reporter and a confidential source. This case - decided at a moment in American history in which the role of an investigative press, and of information provided by confidential sources, was coming to the forefront of public consciousness in a new and significant way - produced a reporter-focused 'privilege' that is now widely regarded to be both doctrinally questionable and deeply inconsistent in application. Although the post-Branzburg privilege has been recognized as flawed in a variety of ways, commentators and scholars have largely ignored its most fundamental shortcoming: By making the reporter the nucleus of the constitutional inquiry, the Court has unnecessarily complicated an analysis that has a much more natural doctrinal starting point. This Article argues that the Court should abandon its reporter-based approach to confidential-source cases and replace it with a constitutional inquiry that focuses on the anonymous source. It suggests that analyzing confidential-source cases based on the anonymous speech rights of sources rather than on the information-flow or news gathering rights of the reporters will more fully acknowledge the scope of First Amendment interests at stake and will eliminate the need to define who is a 'reporter' for purposes of the privilege - a task that has become complicated to a degree of near impossibility as technological changes alter the primary mechanisms for gathering and disseminating news.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Guardian reports more legal problems for former News of the World and News International exec Rebekah Brooks. The Crown Prosecution Service will charge her with obstructing justice in the inquiry over phone hacking. She is accused of conspiring of other persons, including her husband to conceal evidence in the inquiry. Ms. Brooks appeared before the Leveson Inquiry on Friday.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Director Daniel Adams has been sentenced to up to three years in state prison for filing false budgets and other documents in order to receive tax credits for two films he produced in the state of Massachusetts. He is also required to repay the state over four million dollars, and upon release from prison he must also serve probation. Mr. Adams pled guilty to the charges last month. More here from the Los Angeles Times.