Parsons Behle & Latimer’s Media & First Amendment practice team is deeply experienced in all aspects of law that affect organizations involved in the dissemination of information, whether news outlets involved in news gathering and distribution or the operations of publishing companies. Our Media & First Amendment attorneys work with some of the largest newsrooms across the state, including The Salt Lake Tribune, The Deseret News, Utah Media Coalition, KSL, KPCW, and KUTV as well as other major publishing companies to provide review and counseling, and, when necessary, represent our clients in court.
Building on their experience representing news outlets, journalists, editors and publishers, our Media & First Amendment team now applies that experience to a broad range of clients including private individuals, companies and others in cases involving access to records, copyright, defamation defense and privacy. Our team represents a full range of clients in various proceedings and appeals before state and federal courts.
Parsons’ Media & First Amendment team routinely aids journalists and other individuals to gain access to reports and documentation through the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other related laws as well as lobbying for media organizations on open government issues, helping to keep the public informed and aware – a necessity to maintain a healthy, functioning democracy.
Dismissal of Defamation Charges by GOP Leader Against The Salt Lake Tribune
Based on Michael Judd's argument of neutral reporting privilege, The Salt Lake Tribune's Motion to Dismiss was granted in a lawsuit brought by former Utah GOP director of communications for defamation. The judge's decision rested on a previous Salt Lake Tribune case outcome (Schwarz), which, in 2005, was argued by Parsons attorney Michael O'Brien.
Public Records Access Motion for Summary Judgment
Parsons' client The Salt Lake Tribune asked for copies of officer interviews from the City of West Jordan, as part of a project assembling a database of Utah police involved shootings. The city refused to release the records, and The Tribune challenged that access denial in an appeal to the district court. The court issued a ruling granting the Tribune’s Motion for Summary Judgment and ordered West Jordan to turn over those records, with minimal redactions.