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Court grants freelancer's motion to protect hard drive

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday granted a journalist's emergency motion to temporarily suspend a lower court's order to…

The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday granted a journalist’s emergency motion to temporarily suspend a lower court’s order to turn over his computer hard drive in a defamation suit filed by the mother of the late Anna Nicole Smith.

Atlanta freelance journalist Art Harris appealed the motion on Sept. 11, the same day it was granted, after it was denied by an intermediate appellate court in Texas.

If the court rules against Harris on the issue, he will give his hard drive and other electronic materials to Special Master Craig Ball, whose appointment Harris protests because he claims Ball is a consultant paid by the plaintiffs.

In addition to Harris, Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur, also sued an entertainment website, Smith’s former attorney and two bloggers, Lyndal Harrison and Teresa Stephens, who were briefly jailed last summer after refusing to produce their materials. They were later released after complying with the court’s order. The case was originally filed in Harris County, Texas.