DISCOVERY CASE OUTLINE

©Richard E. Best 1999-2006 All rights reserved

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REPORTER'S PRIVILEGE
SHIELD ACT [Ev.C.§1070 / FIRST AMENDMENT
See also CCP §1986.1 re waiver & contempt

CONTENTS
CASE OUTLINE

Deposition
Interrogatory
Document
Admission
Experts
Med.Exam Sanctions Meet & Confer Disc.Cutoff Referee
Basic Disc
E-discovery
Atty.- Client
Work Product
Privacy
Phys-Patient
Med.Qual.Rev
Reporter Priv
Official Info
Tax Return




CONTENTS

Alternatives: Shield Law, 1st Amendment

Shield Law

General references
Purpose of privilege
Nature of protection:
Burden of proof to establish privilege on newsman
Protected persons
Protected material
Confidentiality requirement: promise of confid. not required

First Amendment [qualified reporter's privilege]

Application to California
Nature of Protection
Scope of protection

Factors for determining if information is protected
All newsgathering for public dissemination; intent of gatherer
Confidential sources
Unpublisheed information
Books

Waiver

TOP

CASE OUTLINE

SHIELD LAW
General references

Cal. Constitution Articel 1, sec.2(b)
Ev.C. §1070
Delaney v. Superior Court(1990), 50 Cal.3d 785 [leg.& case hist.]
KSDO v. Superior Court(1982), 136 Cal.App.3d 375 [re leg history & limited protection from contempt; not privilege]
Farr v. Superior Court (1971), 22 Cal.App.3d 60 [limited scope recognized]
Rosato v. Superior Court (1975), 51 Cal.App.3d 190 [broad interp]
See also CCP §1986.1 [enacted 2000] re

JOURNALIST'S TESTIMONY UNDER SUBPOENA NOT WAIVER OF IMMUNITY
MINIMUM 5 DAY NOTICE
FINDINGS TO SUPPORT CONTEMPT


Purpose of privilege

Protect free flow of information vital for informed democracy

DNC v. McCord (DDC 1973), 356 F.Supp.1394 [Watergate; free flow of information depends on ability to gather news and on source protection; 1st Amendment free speech vital for informed democracy]
KSDO v. Superior Court (1982), 136 Cal.App.3d 375
Delaney v. Superior Court(1990), 50 Cal.3d 785 [protect investigative reporting]
Schoen I, (1993), 5 F.3d 1289

TOP

Nature of protection:

Cannot be held in contempt;
Not a privilege [ct can ord prod & award other sanctions such as default J for failure to produce]

Delaney v. Superior Court at p.797 fn6
KSDO v. Superior Court
Mitchell v. Superior Court(1984),p.274
New York Times Co v. Superior Court p.456, 463[monetary sanctions against non-party per CCP §1992; dictum says sep c/a may be "required" at p.464]

Can be overcome by competing right to fair trial in criminal action

Delaney v. Superior Court (1990) 50 Cal.3d 785, 805 [B/P on def.fn.20 p.807]
New York Times Co.v. Superior Court (1990), p.456, 462[not in normal PI case, but possible in civil proceeding]

Broad interpretation of "privilege"

Playboy Enterprises Inc. v. Superior Court (1984), 154 Cal.App.3d 14
Delaney v.Superior Court (1990), 50 Cal.3d 785
Rosato v. Superior Court (1975), 51 Cal.App.3d 190 [contempt; broad interp]
Hammarley v. Superior Court (1979), 89 Cal.App.3d 388 [contempt]


Burden of proof to establish privilege on newsman

New York Times Co v. Superior Court (1990), 51 Cal.3d 453, p.459
Delaney v. Superior Court(1990), p.807 fn20 [B/P on def re need to protect right to fair trial]

TOP

Protected persons

Persons connected w/periodicals; confine to???

"person…connected with …periodical…." Ev.C.§1070
? press assoc. …wire service …?

Unemployed free lancer

People v. Von Villas 10 CA4th 201, 232 cert den 508 US 975 (1993)

Non-parties provided greater protection

New York Times Co. v. Superior Court (1990), 51 Cal.3d 453,461 [absolute immuniy = privilege]
Mitchell v. Superior Court(1984),


Protected material [Ev.C.§1070]

source of information

procured while so connected/employed
for publication

unpublished information

obtained while gathering information
for communication to public

Confidentiality requirement: promise of confidentiality not required

Delaney v. Superior Court(1990), 50 Cal.3d 785, 800,805
New York Times Co. v Superior Court (1990), 51 Cal.3d 453

TOP


FIRST AMENDMENT [qualified reporter's privilege]
Application to California

Delaney v. Superior Court(1990), p.795[Bransburg unclear & Mitchell doesn't estab qual priv.]
Mitchell v. Superior Court(1984), 37 Cal.3d 268
KSDO v. Superior Court(1982)

Nature of Protection

Bransburg v. Hayes (1972), 408 U.S. 665 [qualified privilege for newsgathering ?]
Rancho Publications v. Superior Court (1999), 68 Cal.App.4th 1538 [identity of anonymous authors of paid "advertorial" involving core political speech protected]

TOP

Scope of protection

Factors for determining if information is protected

Nature of litigation & whether reporter is party
Direct relevance

Deny disclosure unless info goes to heart of case

Exhaustion of alternative sources
Importance of confidentiality in particular case

Information of great public importance
Substantial risk of harm to source

Prima facie showing of falsity in defamation case not essential but may tip balance

All newsgathering for public dissemination; intent of gatherer

Schoen I
Silkwood [motion picture documentary

Confidential sources
Unpublisheed information
Books

Schoen v. Schoen (1993), 5 F.3d 1289, 1292 [fn.9 notes not appd revelation of sources allows pursuit of alternatives w/o notes or memo; allow some disc from def. in libel cases
Schoen II

TOP

Waiver

Voluntary disclosure / tender

Dalitz v. Penthouse International (1985), 168 Cal.App.3d 468, 480 [cross complaint tendered issue]

See also CCP §1986.1 re journalist's testimony under subpoena not waiver of immunitcy