I wrote last week about Mike Price’s lawsuit against Sport’s Illustrated for defamation, which arose after an article that stated that he engaged in sexual conduct with several women in a hotel in Florida. Price was fired from his job.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the defendant to reveal a source after Mike Price’s attorney does some additional due diligence to learn the identity of the source on his own. An article reports that “the ruling would compel attorneys defending SI’s parent company, Time Inc., to tell the court if writer Don Yaeger’s sources lie under oath to shield either their identities or the degree to which they contributed to Yaeger’s story.”
The 11th Circuit determined that “Alabama’s shield law specifically excludes magazines from privileges the law extends to newspapers, television and radio. Alabama’s media shield law, enacted in 1935 for newspapers, was extended to include radio and TV reporters in 1949, but magazines specifically were excluded from protections afforded by the statute language.”
Apparently the court asked Time’s attorney “point blank” what he would do “if he heard the person he knows to be the confidential source deny under oath in deposition that she was the confidential source.”
“It would be fair to say that counsel was somewhat uncomfortable with this question, but he did assure us that he would do his duty as an officer of the court and inform the district court that the witness’s sworn denial was false. That assurance is important to our decision that Price should be required to depose the four women, one of whom almost certainly is the confidential source, before the defendants are forced to divulge the source’s name,” the opinion says.
The four women who are on the deposition list work at a strip joint attended by Price earlier in the evening which the article purported to describe.