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Qualified Newsperson's Privilege Does Not Extend to Authors

44 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2013  

Patrick Corbett

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1986

Abstract

This comment discusses a grand jury's power to subpoena an author's personal notes and records. In the case of In re Grand Jury Matter, Gronowicz, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a grand jury could subpoena an author's personal notes and records while investigating him for mail and wire fraud. The court reasoned that because the investigation was proper and the material sought was relevant to the investigation, the grand jury could issue the subpoena consistent with the first amendment. The court did not consider a qualified privilege to balance the author's first amendment rights with society's interest in prosecuting crime. Other courts, however, have applied such a privilege in different contexts. Ignoring this privilege could arguably chill the free flow of information from writers.

Keywords: qualified newsperson's privilege, grand jury subpoena, author, first amendment, writers

Suggested Citation

Corbett, Patrick, Qualified Newsperson's Privilege Does Not Extend to Authors (1986). Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 61, 1986. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2336757

Patrick Corbett (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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