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b. Disclosure of non-confidential source's name

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  • 1st Circuit

    There is no reported First Circuit decision specifically addressing this issue.

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  • 2nd Circuit

    There appears to be no statutory or caselaw addressing whether the disclosure of a non-confidential source's name waives the privilege.

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  • 3rd Circuit

    Courts in the Third Circuit do not appear to have expressly addressed this point in a relevant context. As noted above, however, disclosure of a source's name by the source does not waive the reporter's privilege.

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  • 4th Circuit

    There is no statutory or case law in the Fourth Circuit addressing this issue.

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  • 5th Circuit

    A reporter's disclosure of non-confidential sources for an article does not waive his privilege to protect the confidentiality of other sources. In Selcraig, the reporter had identified some of the sources quoted in his article, but refused to identify the confidential sources on the grounds of the reporter's privilege. In re Selcraig, 705 F.2d 789, 794 (5th Cir. 1983). The court held that the reporter had not waived his privilege as a result of having disclosed the identity of some, but not all, of the sources for the article.

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  • 6th Circuit

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • 7th Circuit

    There is no federal statutory or federal case law on this issue in the Seventh Circuit.

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  • 8th Circuit

    No Eighth circuit case law addresses this issue in the context of the reporter's privilege.

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  • 9th Circuit

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Alabama

    There is no Alabama statutory or reported case law addressing the application of the reporter's privilege when the reporter has disclosed the name of a non-confidential source.

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  • Alaska

    Alaska appellate courts have not had occasion to squarely address the existence or scope of a reporter's privilege. Various trial courts have recognized and applied the qualified constitutional privilege, and in doing so have not articulated circumstances constituting waiver of the privilege or standards for determining that the privilege has been deemed waived. However, trial courts have quashed subpoenas in a number of cases not involving confidential sources, implicitly rejecting the notion that the privilege is waived when the source's identity is known.

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  • Arizona

    The Arizona Supreme Court has suggested that the Arizona Shield Law does not apply to non-confidential sources. Moody, 208 Ariz. at 458, 94 P.3d at 1153; see also Matera, 170 Ariz. at 450, 825 P.2d at 975.

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  • Arkansas

    No cases state whether the disclosure of non-confidential sources is sufficient to waive the privilege. Moreover, it seems unlikely that the court would construe such an act to constitute a waiver in light of the plain language of the statute and the court's reasoning in Saxton.

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  • California

    There are no reported decisions addressing this issue.

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  • Colorado

    The privilege is waived only upon voluntary testimony or disclosure. The information may be disclosed without waiver to an editor or attorney representing the newsperson's organization. Gordon, 9 P.3d at 1119-24.

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  • D.C. Cir.

    No statutory or case law addressing this issue exists.

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  • Delaware

    Third party disclosure does not constitute waiver. 10 Del. C. § 4325.

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  • District of Columbia

    Under the plain terms of the statute, the disclosure of a source’s name, whether confidential or not, does not waive the privilege.  Grunseth v. Marriott Corp., 868 F. Supp. 333, 336 (D.D.C. 1994).

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  • Florida

    The disclosure of information by publication does not waive the journalist's privilege. § 90.5015(4), Fla. Stat. (2016).

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  • Idaho

    There are no cases involving the media.

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  • Illinois

    There is no Illinois statutory or case law specifically addressing waiver of the privilege by disclosure of a non-confidential source’s name. The Statute protects both confidential and non-confidential material.

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  • Indiana

    There is no statutory or case law on this issue.

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  • Iowa

    No reported Iowa cases directly address this issue, but Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier and Diaz v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct. ex rel. County of Clark suggest the reporter’s privilege protects a non-confidential source’s name. In Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier, the Iowa Supreme Court found the reporter’s privilege protected editors from revealing their sources. 646 N.W.2d at 104. In Diaz, the Supreme Court of Nevada found distinguishing whether information was classified is not a determinative factor in determining whether the reporter’s privilege applies.  Diaz v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct. ex re. County of Clark, 993 P.2d 50, 57 (Nev. 2000). The Iowa Supreme Court favorably cited Diaz in Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier in finding that the reporter’s privilege belonged only to the journalist. Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier, 646 N.W.2d at 102. Iowa courts have not relied on the confidentiality of a source’s name in prior decisions, and while this favorable citing of Diaz should not be over-read, it may suggest that disclosure of a non-confidential source’s name is protected by Iowa’s reporter’s privilege.

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  • Kansas

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue. Pursuant to the statute noted above, however, the author believes that most state courts would view this as a waiver of the privilege.

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  • Kentucky

    It is uncertain whether Kentucky’s shield law protects non-confidential sources' names. The statute protects “the source of any information procured or obtained . . . and published.” KRS 421.100.  The issue of waiver would likely be treated the same as the issue of waiver by disclosure of the name of a confidential source.

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  • Louisiana

    There is no statutory language or Louisiana case law addressing this issue.

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  • Maine

    The Maine courts have not addressed the issue.

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  • Maryland

    Maryland's statute provides absolute protection against compelled disclosure of non-confidential sources, even if the source's identity has been published.

    In Lightman v. State, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reasoned that the Maryland statute did "not purport to protect a newsman from disclosing only such sources of news or information published by him that was received in the course of a confidential newsman-informant relationship" and found the privilege "broad enough to encompass any source of news or information, without regard to whether the source gave his information in confidence or not." Lightman v. State, 294 A.2d 149 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1972), aff'd, 295 A.2d 212 (Md. 1972), cert. denied, 411 U.S. 951 (1973).

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  • Massachusetts

    There is no case law on this issue.

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  • Michigan

    There have been no appellate cases discussing this precise issue.

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  • Minnesota

    Under the logic discussed in the previous section, disclosure of the name of a nonconfidential source would not constitute a waiver of any privilege for any information other than what has been disclosed.

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  • Mississippi

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Missouri

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Montana

    Disclosure of the source's name is not waiver except of course as to the identity of the source.

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  • Nebraska

    The statute does not distinguish between confidential and non-confidential sources.

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  • New Hampshire

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue. See C.1 above

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  • New Jersey

    The New Jersey newsperson's privilege makes no distinction between sources who requested and/or were promised confidentiality and other sources.  The privilege applies to both confidential and non-confidential sources.  Disclosure of the name to another person who is not also protected by the privilege is a waiver.

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  • New Mexico

    No New Mexico law specifically addresses this issue. Presumably, however, because Rule 11-514 protects only confidential sources, see Rule 11-514(B)(1) NMRA, identification of non-confidential sources would not implicate the privilege, let alone waive it.

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  • North Carolina

    No reported case in North Carolina has addressed whether the disclosure of a non-confidential source's name is sufficient to find waiver of the privilege.

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  • North Dakota

    North Dakota has not yet determined whether the disclosure of a non-confidential source’s name would constitute a waiver of the privilege.

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  • Oklahoma

    The name of a non–confidential source by definition would not be protected by the first part of the privilege statute (regarding confidential sources) but it would likely be privileged nevertheless as unpublished information.

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  • Oregon

    No statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Shield Law does not protect non-confidential source information.

    There is no Pennsylvania case law addressing waiver of the First Amendment reporter’s privilege by disclosure of a non-confidential source’s name, although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has echoed the Third Circuit’s guidance that “it is important for courts faced with privilege questions to consider whether a reporter’s source is confidential, because the lack of a confidential source is a factor that favors production.” Commonwealth v. Bowden, 838 A.2d 740, 754 (Pa. 2003).

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  • Rhode Island

    In Fischer v. McGowan, 585 F. Supp. 978 (D.R.I. 1984), plaintiffs sought to compel disclosure of certain unnamed sources of an allegedly libelous article in an Australian newspaper about the financial troubles of an America's Cup yacht. The author of the article, who had not been named as a defendant, claimed privilege and moved to quash. Drawing on decisions from other jurisdictions, the court found that the reporter had not waived his privileges under the shield law by disclosing some of his sources or by providing a generic description of the undisclosed sources.

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  • South Carolina

    The statute requires a knowing waiver of the privilege, and if publication itself does not constitute waiver, identification of a non-confidential source in a publication will not constitute waiver.

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  • South Dakota

    There is no pertinent case law on this issue.

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  • Tennessee

    There is no statutory or case law on this issue.

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  • Texas

    To date, there is no case law determining under what conditions the statutory privilege can be waived.

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  • Utah

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Vermont

    There are no reported Vermont cases discussing whether the disclosure of a non-confidential source’s name would constitute a waiver of the reporter’s privilege.  The Vermont Shield Law states that “[t]he publication or dissemination of news or information shall not constitute a waiver of the protection from compelled disclosure. . . .”  12 V.S.A. § § 1615(c).

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  • Virginia

    There is no case law addressing whether the privilege is waivable.

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  • Washington

    Washington's case law has not yet squarely addressed this issue.

    Section 4 of the shield statute provides that publication or dissemination does not waive the privilege. See RCW 5.68.010(4).

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  • West Virginia

    There is no West Virginia caselaw or statute addressing whether a journalist may be deemed to have waived the privilege. Because the privilege is constitutional in nature, it is likely the privilege may never be deemed to have been waived.

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  • Wisconsin

    Under the shield law, the privilege is not waived by the reporter's disclosure of a non-confidential source's name.  Wis. Stat. § 885.14(4).

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  • Wyoming

    Not applicable.

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