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Appeals court vacates adverse reporter's privilege ruling

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
A federal appellate court has vacated a lower court ruling that a New York Daily News gossip columnist’s recorded interview…

A federal appellate court has vacated a lower court ruling that a New York Daily News gossip columnist’s recorded interview would have to be disclosed to a litigant.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City (2nd Cir.) threw out a lower court order stating that columnist George Rush’s 22-minute taped interview with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein had to given to attorneys representing an anonymous Epstein victim.The New York Daily News fought the subpoena, citing reporter’s privilege and the Second Circuit noted that the victim had already settled out of court.

The District Court on May 21 had denied the paper’s motion to quash the subpoena, and had granted the plaintiff’s counsel access to the recording and a transcript.

After that decision, the paper and Rush had appealed and filed a motion to vacate the ruling because the court had not applied a high enough standard, stating, “In sum, the District Court failed to perform its gatekeeping function before compelling disclosure of privileged newsgathering materials.”