Nov 13, 2019

I'm speaking at LSU on Nov. 13

On November 13, the Reilly Center will host Dr. Eric P. Robinson, an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Robinson’s book, Reckless Disregard: St. Amant v. Thompson and the Transformation of Libel Law, examines the case that began with a political campaign ad in Louisiana and ended up changing American libel law forever. Dr. Robinson will moderate a panel of media law and political strategy authorities to discuss the effect of libel law on media operations and coverage of political campaigns as well as the implications of the St. Amant case locally and statewide.

Oct 21, 2019

Shoptalk: Can Anti-Trust Law Save Newspapers?

Editor & Publisher has published an updated version of a prior column for the South Carolina Press Association:

Sep 18, 2019

Are Newspaper Carriers Employees or Independent Contractors?

My new column for the South Carolina Press Association:

There have been several developments in recent weeks regarding classification of newspaper delivery people as employees or independent contractors, with implications for newspapers around the country.

Aug 21, 2019

Does your website violate the law?

My August column for the South Carolina Press Association:

When signing the Americans with Disability Act in late July 1990, President George H.W. Bush said that under the law “every man, woman, and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence, and freedom.”

Jul 17, 2019

Words and Deeds

My new column for the South Carolina Press Association:

In 2017, when signing a law to strengthen the state’s Freedom of Information Act, Governor McMaster said that “[g]overnment has to be accountable to the people it serves, and its citizens should have unimpeded access to public information that speaks to whether or not their best interests are being served.” And earlier this year, when releasing an audit of state agencies’ compliance with the law—the results were mixed—and issuing an executive order for agencies to better meet FOIA requirements, McMaster said, “We want South Carolina to lead the country in having the most open records laws and most informed public.”

But developments within the past two weeks regarding the selection of a new president for the University of South Carolina have not been a model of transparency.

Jun 19, 2019

Can anti-trust law save newspapers?

My June column for the South Carolina Press Association:

Federal and state anti-trust laws date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, way before the emergence of the modern internet-fueled economy. But increasingly these old laws and concepts are being seen as the means of limiting the influence of the dominant internet platforms, and perhaps of helping the print media, particularly newspapers, remain viable.

May 17, 2019

A newsrack, a judge, and the First Amendment

Last week, during jury selection for trial of Timothy Jones, who is accused of killing his five children in Lexington County and dumping their bodies in Alabama in 2014, presiding judge Eugene Griffith Jr. ordered the removal of a Lexington County Chronicle dispensing machine in front of the courthouse. The judge’s order raises the question of how far courts may go to ensure that a criminal defendant gets a fair trial.

Apr 29, 2019

Finally, an Online Compilation of Jury Instructions

When I undertook my compilation of jury instructions regarding juror use of the internet and social media, the biggest challenge was collecting the official and unofficial jury instructions for every state and federal circuit.