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Model Briefs and Practice Guides

Panic Book
The Panic Book provides ready citations and authority to use when responding to an “emergency” call to be in court within minutes to challenge a prior restraint, obtain access to closed court proceedings and records, get a reporter out of jail and more.

Model Trial Brief
An essential reference for libel litigators. Sections include: Excluding Plaintiff’s Expert Evidence on Fault and Defamatory Meaning; Admitting Evidence of Plaintiff’s Misconduct; Bifurcation and Trial Management; Damages and more.

Jury Instruction Manual
Contains submitted and proposed instructions from a wider variety of state and federal courts on the elements of defamation claims, including fault, privileges and damages.

Model Brief on Newsgathering Claims
Provides arguments and authority to counter a wide range of claims made against newsgathers. Sections include: Intrusion; Claims over Hidden Filming and Recording;  Misrepresentation, Fraud, and Trespass Claims against Reporters.

Model Brief on Jury Access Issues
A model brief for the press to intervene to obtain disclosure of juror information and conduct post-verdict interviews with jurors in criminal cases.


Media Decorum Order
MLRC's Model Media Decorum Order, and supporting memorandum of law, can be used in high profile state court cases to balance fair trial rights with the press and public’s right to full access to judicial proceedings.

Model Policy on Access and Use of Electronic Portable Devices in Courthouses and Courtrooms
Smart phones and laptops have become indispensible tools in covering courts and judicial proceedings. Courts, though, are struggling with a variety of issues raised by the pervasive use of these devices. This Model Policy is designed to give thoughful guidance to judges facing these issues.  It explains that reporters need to use the modern tools of the trade to provide timely, contemporaneous reports to the public, in fulfilling their constitutional mission.


Practically Pocket-Sized Guide to Internet Law
Contains 25 concise articles on a wide-range of Internet law questions that come up in day-to-day media law practice.

The Use of Releases in News and Entertainment Production
This paper discusses when releases should be considered and why; how releases should be obtained; and what terms should be included.  Sample releases are also attached.

1984 All Over Again: A Guide to GPS Surveillance in the Workplace
This paper discusses certain of the legal and practical issues that may arise from an employer’s use of GPS monitoring technologies, including analysis of the nascent and rapidly evolving jurisprudence on electronic monitoring of employees.

A Basic Guide to Independent Contractor Law for Media Companies
This pamphlet is intended to be a practical and easily accessible resource for media entities and their attorneys regarding the issue of independent contractors.

Invasion of the Blogs:  An Introductory Survival Guide for Assessing, Addressing and Managing Employee Blogs and Other Alien Publication Life Forms
The low cost, availability, ease-of-use and anonymity of blogs make them a particularly attractive form of self-expression for employees to write for or about their jobs.  However, like all forms of expressive content, blogs likewise create an ever growing host of practical and legal concerns for employers.

A Journalist's Quick HIPAA Guide
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) imposes serious criminal restrictions on dissemination of certain health information. This sheet provides a summary of key parts of the law.


Resource Materials for Defining "Journalist" and "Media" in Litigation and Legislation
With the ongoing evolution of print, online, broadcast, cable and mobile outlets for expression, this paper contains a detailed study of court decisions, administrative regulations, and statutes that have attempted to define and explain "journalist," "news" and "media."

Catalog of Subpoena Decisions by Category of Material and Reasons Sought
This catolog includes subpoena cases arising out of jail house interviews, accident and crime scenes and leak investigations.  

When Denial of Evidence Justifies Dismissal of Defamation Claims
This paper discusses whether a plaintiff should be permitted to maintain a claim where the defendant is denied access to information bearing upon the truth of the very matters placed at issue by the suit.

Defending Against A Defamation Claim: Post-Publication Considerations
This paper discusses the implications of various post-publication events in defamation cases, such as the impact of demands for retraction.

2006 Actual Malice Practice Guide
The purpose of this Practice Guide is to inform defense counsel of this relevant case law so they can quickly respond to a claim of actual malice.

To Recuse or Not Recuse? That is the Question
When should a media defendant move to recuse the presiding judge in a defamation case? The decision to file a recusal motion is rarely an easy one.
 

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