6

VI. Substantive law on contesting subpoenas

VI. Substantive law on contesting subpoenas

This section analyzes the substantive law that makes up the reporter's privilege and how a subpoenaing party can avoid the privilege protection.

VI. Substantive law on contesting subpoenas

In civil cases, the Fifth Circuit has recognized a qualified privilege for reporters. Miller v. Transamerican Press, Inc., 621 F.2d 721, 723, as modified, 628 F.2d 932 (5th Cir. 1980); In re Selcraig, 705 F.2d 789, 792 (5th Cir. 1983). This privilege can be overcome only if the party seeking the information provides substantial evidence showing that the information is relevant, cannot be obtained by alternative means, and has a compelling interest in obtaining it. Miller, 621 F.2d at 726.