Newsgathering, Access & Protection from Subpoenas

At TLo, we understand journalists' crucial role in uncovering vital information to report to the public.

Unfortunately, despite their constitutional rights under the First Amendment, journalists often encounter obstacles when seeking government information.

Every day, we promote transparency and ensure the public's right to information for accurate and important news reporting by helping journalists access public and judicial records, public meetings, and judicial proceedings.

With our extensive experience in litigating cases involving public records, open meetings, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) matters, our highly accomplished attorneys have successfully fought for access to government information.

Some of our notable cases include:

  • State of Florida v. Dylan Christopher Farley (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2019). On behalf of the (Fort Myers) News-Press, vacated prior order restricting news media from photographing, filming, recording or subsequently publishing images of participants in drug court proceedings without their prior consent.
  • School Board of Broward County v. Cruz (Fla. Cir Ct. 2018); State v. Cruz (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2018). Successfully defended the South Florida Sun Sentinel and journalists against contempt petition relating to publication of an unredacted version of an educational assessment report about Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.
  • State Attorney’s Office of 17th Jud. Cir. v. Cable News Network, Inc., 251 So. 3d 205, (Fla. 4th DCA 2018). On behalf of a consortium of media companies, obtained surveillance video of law enforcement’s response to the Parkland school shooting, defeating argument that video was exempt from disclosure.
  • CNN v. Broward County Sheriff’s Office (Fla. 17th Jud. Circ. 2018). On behalf of a consortium of media companies, obtained the release of surveillance video recordings over asserted exemptions in a high-profile criminal case.
  • Department of Corrections v. Amanda St. Hilaire and ABC 27 News, 128 A.3d 859 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2015). Successfully represented television news station and reporter in Pennsylvania open records appeal by Department of Corrections regarding access to inmate injury records.
  • NCAA v. Associated Press, 18 So. 3d 1201 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009). Successfully litigated Florida Public Records Act case against Florida State University and the NCAA for access to documents related to a cheating scandal at the University.

Thomas & LoCicero also protects journalists’ First Amendment rights by opposing those who seek to turn journalists into trial witnesses.

Reporters invariably find themselves thrust into high-profile criminal and civil cases by monitoring court proceedings, gathering information, and interviewing witnesses, parties, and attorneys. In turn, litigants often seek to subpoena reporters for testimony or documentary information about their newsgathering or confidential sources.

The Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press includes the right of journalists to protect their sources

This means that reporters cannot be forced to testify about confidential sources or information that they have gathered in the course of their newsgathering. We fight tirelessly to protect our clients against this constitutional intrusion.

We fight tirelessly to protect our clients against this constitutional intrusion.

TLo is trusted by print, television, and online journalists to obtain government information and records and to shield their newsgathering efforts from document and deposition subpoenas.

We are relentless in our efforts to uphold the principles of transparency and access, advocating for responsible journalism and the public’s right to know.

Discuss your Newsgathering & Access case with our team today.