FAC Submits Letter Asking State Appeals Court to Unpublish a Court Decision

Represented by Aaron Field of Cannata, O’Toole & Olson, FAC submitted a letter to the California Supreme Court in support of The Bakersfield Californian‘s request to depublish the Court of Appeal’s decision in Bakersfield Californian v. Superior Court, which rejected the newspaper’s objections to a subpoena issued by a criminal defendant for a reporter’s notes of an interview with a co-defendant. As explained in the letter, the decision diluted the rights of reporters by misconstruing the burden a criminal defendant must carry to justify piercing the reporter’s shield law.

From the letter: “Absent depublication, the [court’s decision] will make the shield law less effective and encourage criminal defendants to seek information from journalists unnecessarily, especially in high-profile cases that draw serious investigative coverage. They may also, as a result, limitV journalists’ ability to investigate and report on criminal justice matters, and Californians’ access to information about crimes and criminal prosecutions in this State.

The court denied depublication on February 21, 2024.