10th Circuit reverses dismissal of 'Dateline' defamation case

Bradleigh Chance | Libel | News | July 14, 2014
July 14, 2014

Last week the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that while NBCUniversal reporters did not violate anyone’s Fourth Amendment rights creating the 2008 Dateline segment titled “Tricks of the Trade,” a lower court will have to review the originally dismissed defamation claims made by an insurance broker featured in the piece.

Tyrone M. Clark and his company, Brokers’ Choice of America, initially sued NBC over video clips recorded with a hidden camera by Dateline crew members during an insurance brokers’ seminar in Colorado located on BCA property.

The reporters worked with Alabama law enforcement to gain access to the event since it was only open to licensed insurance agents, which Clark and BCA claimed to be a Fourth Amendment violation of the company’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Colorado court refuses to close jury selection process in Holmes theater-shooting case

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Secret Courts | News | June 13, 2014
June 13, 2014

A Colorado district court judge on Wednesday rejected the defendant’s request to close the jury selection process for the Aurora theater shooting trial.

Arapahoe County Judge Carlos Samour denied the request for complete closure to the public and the media and the prosecution’s request for partial closure of the selection process. Instead, the court opted to open the entire process, only withholding the names of prospective and seated jurors and the jury questionnaires.

Bill to strengthen Colorado shield law fails in committee

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

Colorado court denies attempt to restrict access to court records in James Holmes murder case

Latara Appleby | Secret Courts | News | November 25, 2013
November 25, 2013

The District Court in Arapahoe County, Colo. has denied an attempt by defense lawyers to restrict access to court records in the case of alleged Colorado theater gunman James Holmes.

Holmes had asked the court to suppress all transcripts of the proceedings and the register of actions, and deny electronic access to the records in the case. The court denied the request without a hearing on Nov. 22.

Colorado v. Holmes

October 2, 2013

The Reporters Committee and two media organizations wrote a letter opposing a defense motion in the murder trial of James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora, Colo. theater shootings. The letter supports the opposition brief filed by a coalition of news organizations covering the trial. The defense motion asks the court to (1) suppress all transcripts of the proceedings; (2) suppress the register of actions; and (3) remove access to most pleadings from its website.

Supreme Court to hear Air Wisconsin defamation caseon immunity in reporting security threats

Amy Zhang | Libel | News | June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a case involving an Air Wisconsin pilot who sued for defamation, which raises the issue of the extent of the airline's immunity from lawsuits when they report potential security threats.

The justices will decide if the Colorado Supreme Court was correct in upholding a $1.4 million damages award to pilot William Hoeper and denying Air Wisconsin Airlines legal immunity after it reported to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that Hoeper could be a security threat. Hoeper was questioned by the TSA but never charged.

Judge delays deciding if Fox News reporter must testify

Lilly Chapa | Reporter's Privilege | News | April 9, 2013
April 9, 2013

Fox News reporter Jana Winter won't have to testify about her confidential sources regarding the notebook of alleged theater shooter James Holmes – for now.

Affidavit in support of Fox News reporter Jana Winter

April 8, 2013

Fox News reporter Jana Winter faces an order to reveal her sources of information in the James Holmes Colorado theater shooting case. The Reporters Committee urged the court to carefully apply the qualified privilege under the Colorado shield law, to allow reporters like Winter to fully report on a case that is of great interest to the public.

Judge unseals records in Holmes case; hearing Wed. will determine if reporter must testify about source

Lilly Chapa | Secret Courts | News | April 5, 2013
April 5, 2013

The new judge presiding over the James Holmes trial unsealed the highly coveted search and arrest warrants in the case on Thursday, providing the media with new details about the high-profile Colorado movie theater shooting.