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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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Retired cop alleges defamation for articles written about cop’s participation in podcast

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 09:09


A retired policeman filed a complaint against The New York Post, and others, for articles following the plaintiff’s participation in a podcast. A federal court dismissed the allegations of defamation because the cop’s complaint failed to state a proper claim of defamation.


Court cannot unring the bell for Bill Cosby deposition

Friday, 28 October 2016 08:26


Courts lack the ability to make something private once it has been made public. That reasoning was used by a federal appeals court when it denied Bill Cosby’s request to reseal a deposition after it was made available to the public.


Federal appellate court revives fireman’s defamation suit

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:28


A federal court of appeals revived a Philadelphia fireman’s defamation and invasion-of-privacy claims against a Philadelphia newspaper, holding that a reasonable person could understand that the newspaper article concerned the fireman.


CIA not required to disclose torture report

Monday, 08 August 2016 12:26


A Congressional Committee’s 6,000-plus page study on the detention and interrogation program formerly run by the CIA is a Congressional record not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the federal court of appeals in D.C. ruled last month.


American Sniper takes down Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Wednesday, 06 July 2016 09:56


The U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis has thrown out the jury’s $1.85 million judgment in Jesse Ventura’s defamation case against Chris Kyle (the deceased “American Sniper”). The court ruled that Kyle must be given a new trial on the defamation claim and that the unjust enrichment award was improper. (Comment reported on the trial court ruling in February 2015).


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