News & Resources

Marks Gray Attorney Ed Birk’s TV Interview with News4Jax

On January 31, 2018, Marks Gray news media and First Amendment attorney Edward Birk was interviewed outside the Duval County courthouse by New4Jax. Birk represents Graham Media Group/News4Jax in a dispute about what evidence will be made public in the high-profile case involving the 1998 kidnapping of Kamiyah Mobley as a newborn. News4Jax and a coalition of news organizations filed a public records request to the State Attorney’s Office about the case, but defendant Gloria Williams’ […]

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Public Record or Trade Secret?

Down at the crossroads where innovative private enterprise meets good accountable government, there can be collisions between public records and trade secrets. Under Florida’s strong public records laws, which protects the commercially valuable secrets of those who do business with the state, not every piece of data obtained from a company is a trade secret. A recent case in Broward County nicely illustrates the point. In a public records request, Yellow Cab asked Broward County […]

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A Challenge for Readers: Who Qualifies as ‘the News Media’?

A perennial question in this internet age is, “Who exactly does qualify as the news media?” In the days when Gutenberg invented movable type, the number of printing presses could be counted on fingers and toes. Today, with the internet as every man or woman’s printing press, the number is infinite. For access to normally public records, forums, and events, such as public meetings and court hearings, the news media and the public have about […]

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Attorney David Boies’s Career-Killing Ethical Breach for Weinstein

Many have wondered how Harvey Weinstein’s story went unreported for so long. Part of the reason may have come to light in a recent New Yorker article. According to the New Yorker article, and other news coverage, Weinstein hired attorneys and private intelligence agencies to collect damaging information on journalists working on stories about him as well as their sources. The explicit goal of these investigations was to prevent the publication of the abuse allegations […]

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Flipping the Bird at the President Is Protected Speech; Bragging about It on Social Media, Not So Smart

  A recent court case reaffirmed that flipping the bird in protest is usually protected speech, not disorderly conduct. When the gesture is used to express contempt, anger, or protest, and not a “true threat,” in most situations a person cannot be guilty of a crime. But can you be fired from your job for flipping the bird? And what if you took it one step further… and flipped the bird at the President? Recently, […]

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Will Trump Prosecute the News Media for Publishing Leaks?

During his first months in office, President Trump has complained about people in government leaking sensitive or secret information to the news media. He has at times suggested news media should be prosecuted for publishing secret information. Is that likely? History gives one example to consider. Before the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. government’s most significant prosecution of a news media outlet occurred during World War II, arguably at the height of danger to our national […]

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