final exam outline

final exam outline - I II Contempt of Court a `summary...

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I. Contempt of Court a. `summary contempt i. if the contempt occurs in the courtroom, judge often uses summary contempt ii. no trial on the contempt citation; immediate punishment b. civil contempt i. open-ended jail time and/or daily fine ii. purpose is to force compliance with judge’s orders iii. to get out of jail, do what judge wants II. Reporter’s privilege a. today, a reporter’s privilege not to talk is found in qualified First Amendment privilege (reporter’s privilege) or state shield laws b. Branzburg v. Hayes i. U.S. Supreme Court ruled that reporters must testify before grand juries or risk being held in contempt ii. four-part balancing test 1. is it likely that the journalist has the information being sought? 2. can the information be found through other reasonable means? a. the reporter should not be the first source 3. is there a compelling and overriding need for the info? a. “compelling” means will the information ensure a fair trial; “overriding” means is there a sufficient need for the information to warrant overriding the reporter’s First Amendment rights? 4. for what kind of proceeding is the information needed a. civil trial: money probably at stake so a journalist is more likely to be given the privilege b. criminal trial: a person’s freedom or life is at stake, so a journalist is less likely to be given the privilege c. state shield laws i. used in 30 states, including Colorado ii. Colorado’s shield law 1. law says: newsperson can’t be compelled to reveal sources or any information 2. “newsperson” is any member of the mass media engaged to gather, receive, process, write or edit news 3. both confidential information and non-confidential information in both criminal and civil proceedings is covered 4. exceptions a. if a newsperson witnesses a misdemeanor, and the information can’t be obtained any other reasonable way b. or if a newsperson witnesses a felony
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c. a newsperson can also be required to reveal information if: (absolute test) i. the information is directly relevant to an important issue in the trial, and ii. the information can’t be obtained by other reasonable means, and iii. the information is so vital that it outweighs the reporter’s and the public’s First Amendment rights d. search warrants i. in Zurcher v. Stanford Daily, the Supreme Court held that a warrant to search a newsroom does not violate the First or Fourth Amendment ii. a federal law (also applying to states) says a warrant to search a newsroom will be issued only if: 1. it’s needed to prevent physical harm or death, or 2. a journalist is a crime suspect, or 3. it is needed for national defense, or 4. a subpoena would give warning, allowing material to be destroyed, or 5. not using a warrant would thwart justice III.
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