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Newsroom Alert


Doug Pierce

Newsroom Alert provides you with the latest updates in First Amendment and other legal issues related to news gathering and reporting, including reviews of recent state and federal court decisions.  Some of the many topics include libel, copyright, privacy, and access to records and meetings.

Doug Pierce is a Partner at King & Ballow. He also serves as General Counsel for the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and President of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.  He is a frequent writer on legal issues related to newsroom topics; he co-authors portions of the Media Law Resource Center’s annual 50 state surveys for Libel and Privacy.

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Bill Cosby’s prior deposition testimony must be unsealed

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 12:53


A U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania has determined sealed deposition excerpts in a ten-year-old lawsuit against Bill Cosby must be unsealed and released to the public.


Actual malice standard protects statements about public officials

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 10:08


In 2012, a firearms analyst sued a newspaper, its editor, and several other employees.  The suit arose out of a newspaper article regarding analyst’s testimony in two trials.  The article, titled "SBI relies on bullet analysis that critics deride as unreliable," was part of a four-part series on failings in investigations.


Reporter ordered to testify in police shooting case

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 09:14


A U.S. District Court in Florida has determined a news reporter may be required to testify in a lawsuit where a party overcomes the journalists’ privilege by demonstrating a compelling need for the reporter’s testimony.


Defamation thwarted by Innocent Construction Rule

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 08:56


An orthopedic surgeon took what was supposed to be an unpaid leave of absence from the Illinois hospital where he was employed.  However, due to a clerical error, the surgeon continued to receive his salary via direct deposits.


Private university’s police department deemed a public office

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 12:18


The issue before the Supreme Court of Ohio was whether a university’s police department was a public office for the purpose of Ohio’s Public Records Act. Despite the fact the university is a private school, the Court found that the private university’s police department was providing a core function of government, the enforcement of laws, which constitutes a public office.


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