Mendez v. City of Gardena

March 30, 2016

After media organizations received copies of a police shooting video because the federal district court would not stay its order pending appeal, the City of Gardena appealed to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that in such cases a stay should be automatic. In our amicus brief, we argued that the current standard for imposing a stay was sufficient; no stay should be allowed if the party cannot show there is an irreparable injury that is more important than the public interest at stake. The public interest in seeing exactly what happened in a police shooting, particularly where police paid a settlement with the express purpose of keeping the video secret, is overwhelming in this case, the brief argued.

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.

Washington State Supreme Court grants ABC affiliate access to dashcam videos

Bradleigh Chance | Freedom of Information | News | June 13, 2014
June 13, 2014

After a drawn out legal battle over access to police car dashcam videos between TV station KOMO and the Seattle Police Department, the local news source received a favorable opinion from the Washington State Supreme Court. The court concluded the police should have released videos in response to two public records requests made by KOMO reporter Tracy Vedder.

KOMO sued for access when the Department of Justice was investigating the Seattle Police Department for use of excessive force.

New Hampshire Supreme Court reverses blogger's felony conviction for recording phone conversations

Cindy Gierhart | Privacy | News | February 12, 2014
February 12, 2014

The New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned a felony wiretapping conviction Tuesday of a blogger who recorded phone conversations with a law enforcement official and two school officials.

The blogger, Adam Mueller, operates the website, which says it aims to hold police accountable.

A New Hampshire statute makes it a felony for anyone to “willfully intercept” a communication without the consent of all parties to the communication. At trial, the jury was instructed to find Mueller guilty if he “purposefully” intercepted the communications.

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

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

Miss. high court lifts ban on airing of abuse video

Rachel Costello | Prior Restraints | Feature | January 28, 2011
January 28, 2011

The Mississippi Supreme Court issued an order Thursday to lift an injunction prohibiting a Hattiesburg television station from airing video images of alleged child abuse at a juvenile detention center.

LA Times takes heat for honoring promise of confidentiality

Kathleen Cullinan | Newsgathering | Quicklink | October 30, 2008
October 30, 2008

The Los Angeles Times is taking political heat this week from the McCain campaign for refusing to release a video it obtained through a confidential source, of Sen. Barack Obama at a dinner for a Palestinian-American professor.

Highest military court hears arguments in CBS subpoena case

Samantha Fredrickson | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | September 17, 2008
September 17, 2008

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces heard oral arguments Wednesday on whether CBS must give the government un-aired footage of an interview with a Marine staff sergeant who faces manslaughter charges.

Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich was leading a marine convoy near Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005 when they killed 24 Iraqi citizens, including men, women and children as young as 2 years old, in the aftermath of a roadside bomb explosion. Wuterich was subsequently charged by the U.S. government with dereliction of duty and voluntary manslaughter.  

Ore. activist won't have to give grand jury tape of rally arrest

Kathleen Cullinan | Reporter's Privilege | Quicklink | July 16, 2008
July 16, 2008

An Oregon videographer is off the hook after prosecutors backed off their bid for unpublished segments of a tape he shot at a rally, which they had planned to present to a grand jury, according to The [Eugene] Register Guard.

Cheney fights release of videotaped depositions

Amy Harder | Secret Courts | Quicklink | February 11, 2008
February 11, 2008

Vice President Dick Cheney’s office filed a motion Saturday to block the release of videotaped depositions given by two aides who witnessed a physical encounter between Cheney and an Iraqi war opponent at a Colorado mall in 2006.