Recently in Subpoenas and Journalist's Privilege Category

Reporters for The Free Press of Mankato, Minn. do not have to turn over unpublished notes to police because the county attorney seeking the notes failed to prove a specific injustice could only be avoided through disclosure of the notes, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 24, 2007.

Reporters Fight Federal Subpoenas

Locy Faces Fines, Risen Subpoenaed Over Sources for CIA Book

Former USA Today reporter Toni Locy faces fines escalating to $5,000 per day for refusing to divulge the identity of confidential sources. Locy, currently a journalism professor at West Virginia University, used confidential sources in reporting on the still-unsolved anthrax attacks in 2001 that left five people dead.

Secrecy, Subpoena in R. Kelly Trial

The child pornography trial of R&B star R. Kelly drew media attention not just for its high profile subject and the salacious nature of the charges, but because it involved issues that are high on the list of media law concerns: trial secrecy and the subpoena of a journalist.

UK Journalist Complies with ‘Production Order’

A British freelance journalist’s fight to prevent police from seizing his notes about a terrorism suspect ended when the High Court ordered him to hand over copies of his notes, audio tapes, and computer records on June 26.

Judge Quashes Subpoenas to 15 Pennsylvania Reporters

On July 17, 2008, a Pennsylvania judge threw out subpoenas issued to 15 journalists summoned to testify at a closed hearing to investigate alleged leaks in the grand jury probe of a casino owner.

Hawaii Enacts 36th State Shield Law

Hawaii’s governor signed a bill into law on July 2, 2008 that prevents government officials from forcing journalists to divulge anonymous sources except under certain circumstances.

Hatfill Suit Settled, Reporter Locy's Fate Still Unclear

A settlement in Steven Hatfill’s Privacy Act suit against the government means former USA Today reporter Toni Locy may no longer be subject to a civil contempt order that included fines of up to $5,000 per day.

Washington Times Reporter Gertz Not Forced to Testify

A federal judge who had subpoenaed a Washington Times reporter as part of an investigation into a leak of grand jury testimony opted not to force him to reveal his confidential sources on July 24, 2008, but the reporter now faces a subpoena from a federal grand jury.

New Jersey Shield Law Protects Author of Trump Biography

A New Jersey appellate court ruled on Oct. 24, 2008 that a former New York Times reporter who wrote a book about Donald Trump does not have to reveal the identity of his confidential sources. The decision reversed a lower court’s ruling on a discovery request by Trump in his ongoing defamation suit against Timothy O’Brien.

Court Throws Out Locy Contempt Order

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit threw out a contempt order against former USA Today reporter Toni Locy on November 17, several months after the lawsuit in which she was called to testify was settled out of court.

Illinois Paper Cites Shield Law, Refuses to Expose Anonymous Commenters

On Aug. 8, 2008, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert S. Mueller apologized to the executive editors of The Washington Post and The New York Times for obtaining the telephone records of some of the newspapers’ reporters in 2004 without following special procedures required by the Department of Justice.

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