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Subpoena Matters

Reporters, editors, filmmakers, and others who gather and disseminate news and information increasingly receive subpoenas in criminal investigations and civil disputes. Whether seeking the identity of confidential sources, copies of outtakes, or a journalist’s notes, these subpoenas often undermine important First Amendment principles, not the least of which is the integrity of an independent press, and compromise business relationships and public perceptions of privacy and reliability.

LSKS is grateful that our clients have come to regard us as a “go-to” firm when they are served with subpoenas and, as a consequence, our attorneys have handled many of the most significant subpoena matters in recent years. For instance, LSKS

  • represented the Associated Press in connection with a federal investigation into leaks of national security information and the revelation that the Department of Justice had secretly seized AP’s phone records;
  • represented journalists who were called to testify in connection with the investigation and prosecution of White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby;
  • defended reporters who were ordered to reveal their confidential sources in lawsuits brought against the federal government by Wen Ho Lee and Steven Hatfill; and
  • represented a television network subpoenaed to produce outtakes in court-martial proceedings arising out of the deaths of civilians in Haditha, Iraq.

LSKS attorneys have authored the leading treatise, Newsgathering and the Law, and numerous scholarly articles on the subject of the reporter's privilege, and have advocated the passage of "shield law" legislation before state and federal legislatures. Indeed, LSKS helped lead the charge that spurred the Department of Justice to strengthen federal guidelines for obtaining search warrants and subpoenas to reporters to provide greater protection for their confidential sources.

LSKS attorneys also have established themselves as leaders in the emerging area of law governing subpoenas seeking identifying information about anonymous posters

To review a list of some noteworthy subpoena matters that LSKS attorneys have litigated, please click here.

Recent News About LSKS's Subpoena Matters

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