First Amendment News

News organizations fail in bid to unseal records produced in pre-trial discovery

The Recorder By Scott Graham December 20, 2007 Documents filed with a court in civil litigation are not automatically available to the public, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has ruled Wednesday in a case brought by Bloomberg News, The Recorder newspaper and the San Francisco Chronicle. A unanimous panel led by Justice Wendy Duffy ruled that a trial judge had erred by unsealing e-mails, spreadsheets and other discovery appended to a shareholder complaint in

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James Madison Awards, Call for Nominations

The Society of Professional Journalists (NorCal Chapter) presents the 23rd Annual James Madison Freedom of Information Awards The James Madison Freedom of Information Awards recognize Northern California organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of freedom of information and expression in the spirit of James Madison, the creative force behind the First Amendment. The awards are presented at a ceremony in March during National Freedom of Information Week near the anniversary

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State Supreme Court affirms free speech safeguards for private shopping malls

San Diego Union-Tribune By Greg Moran December 25, 2007 A sharply divided state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that shopping malls can’t ban protesters from calling for boycotts of mall businesses. The 4-3 ruling came in a case dating to 1998 involving the Fashion Valley mall and a labor union representing press workers at The San Diego Union-Tribune. The court majority said that free-speech rights – as interpreted under the state Constitution and a 1979 state

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Bush Signs FOIA Rewrite

On Monday, Dec. 31, President George Bush signed bipartisan legislation containing the most important amendments to the FOIA in over a decade. The changes expand the definition of who is a “representative of the news media.” This will benefit bloggers and non-traditional journalists by making them eligible for discounted processing and duplication fees that are available to the news media. Other important reforms include: –Broadening the scope of information that can be requested by including

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