Smith Buss & Jacobs attorney David Menken successfully argued on behalf of a newspaper reporter that a Subpoena to compel him to testify in a civil trial should be quashed because the reporter was protected by the New York’s Shield Law.  The judge ruled that the Subpoena failed to overcome the qualified reporter’s privilege that applies to unpublished, non-confidential news-gathering materials of a news journalist.

The privilege is available to journalists in civil and criminal matters.  In order to require a reporter to testify and to provide materials set forth in a Subpoena, the person serving the Subpoena must provide that the reporter’s testimony and documentary evidence are (1) “highly material and relevant,” (2) “critical or necessary” to the maintenance of Defendant’s defense, and (3) “not obtainable from any alternative source.”

The attorneys in SBJ’s litigation group, chaired by Jeffrey Buss, have substantial trial and appellate experience in federal and state courts throughout the United States as well as before administrative agencies and arbitration panels.