Shield Law

Supreme Court will not hear Risen's appeal over subpoena in Sterling prosecution

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | June 2, 2014
News
June 2, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will not hear an appeal by New York Times reporter James Risen, who has been subpoenaed to testify in a government leaks prosecution.

Risen could now face jail or fines if he refuses to testify.

Joel Kurtzberg, Risen’s attorney, said the ball is now in the government’s court. Risen was never held in contempt because the trial court initially ruled that he was protected by the reporter’s privilege and did not have to testify. An appellate court later reversed, and that decision now stands.

Therefore, the government will have to pursue Risen’s testimony again in trial court, Kurtzberg said.

“If they say they are going to do that, we will make clear that [Risen] is not going to testify and then there would have to be a contempt hearing,” Kurtzberg said.

Supreme Court won't hear Holmes appeal over Fox News reporter subpoena in Aurora theater shooting

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Reporter's Privilege | News | May 27, 2014
News
May 27, 2014

The Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal of a New York ruling that said Fox News reporter Jana Winter did not have to testify in the Colorado murder trial of James Holmes, the accused Aurora theater shooter. The lower court’s opinion therefore still stands, and Winter will not be forced to testify.

The Colorado court wanted Winter to testify about the sources who gave her confidential information about a notebook Holmes sent to his psychiatrist before he opened fire in a Colorado movie theater in July 2012.

Ohio Supreme Court declines to hold reporter in contempt for refusing to testify

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | March 19, 2014
News
March 19, 2014

The Ohio Supreme Court decided Monday not to hold a reporter in contempt of court for refusing to testify in a disciplinary hearing against an attorney.

While the case was poised to answer the question of whether the state's reporter's privilege applied in quasi-judicial or administrative proceedings, the state's high court did not squarely answer this question. Instead of issuing a full opinion, the court briefly announced that it was dismissing the case and denying the Akron Bar Association's request to hold the reporter in contempt.

Ohio bar association asks state Supreme Court to hold reporter in contempt

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | February 12, 2014
News
February 12, 2014

The Ohio Supreme Court is set to decide whether a reporter will be forced to testify in a lawyer’s disciplinary hearing.

While Ohio has a shield statute that protects journalists from having to reveal sources of information in court, the state has not yet determined whether the reporter’s privilege extends into quasi-judicial or administrative proceedings, according to court filings.

Bill to strengthen Colorado shield law fails in committee

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | January 30, 2014
News
January 30, 2014

A bill that would have strengthened the Colorado shield law did not garner sufficient votes in the state's Senate Judiciary Committee to move forward.

Republican state Sen. Bernie Herpin introduced the bill in response to Fox News reporter Jana Winter's recent subpoena to testify before a Colorado court in the case of James Holmes, on trial for the Aurora theater shooting.

Colorado considers bill to bolster reporter shield law

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | January 16, 2014
News
January 16, 2014

The Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee considered a bill Wednesday that would strengthen the Colorado reporter shield law.

Colorado Sen. Bernie Herpin introduced the bill after Colorado courts threatened jail time for Fox News reporter Jana Winter if she did not reveal her confidential sources. The committee delayed a vote on the bill until a later date.

Court rejects James Risen request for rehearing

Latara Appleby | Reporter's Privilege | News | October 16, 2013
News
October 16, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit declined a request for rehearing by New York Times reporter James Risen on Tuesday. Of the 14 judges, 13 rejected the petition to rehear the case.

A three-judge panel had ruled in July that Risen would have to testify to the identity of his confidential source in a story involving information leaks from the Central Intelligence Agency.

California expands journalist shield law, requires third-party subpoena notification

Latara Appleby | Reporter's Privilege | News | October 7, 2013
News
October 7, 2013

In response to the recent controversy about The Associated Press phone records subpoena, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that would expand the existing shield law for the state's journalists.

'Central Park Five' filmmakers not required to turn over outtakes

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | September 27, 2013
News
September 27, 2013

A federal district court judge agreed with a magistrate judge Monday that documentary filmmakers will not have to hand over outtakes from their film "The Central Park Five." The fact that one filmmaker had researched the subject matter for a college thesis did not mean the documentary several years later was lacking journalistic intent, said Judge Deborah A. Batts of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Court orders BBC to hand over unaired documentary footage

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | September 23, 2013
News
September 23, 2013

A federal district court on Thursday ordered the BBC to turn over unseen footage from a 2003 documentary on Yasser Arafat. The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said the importance of protecting journalists’ newsgathering function is “weaker” when the sources are not confidential.