Legal Updates: 2008

By on December 28, 2008

Below is a summary of legal activity from 2008:

Nov. 7, 2008
Joined an amicus brief in the case of Dugas v. Robbins.

In 2008, Peter Robbins wrote a blog post in which he complained that maintenance at a local harbor was being delayed by unnecessary legal challenges to a proposed dredging project. Robbins wrote that the challenges were costing taxpayers money and putting boaters in danger of running aground.

Two residents, named in Robbins’ post, sued for defamation. Robbins then filed a motion to dismiss the suit under the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP law. We joined the amicus brief that supported application of the anti-SLAPP law.

For more on this case, refer to this Citizens Media Law Project description.

Sept. 13, 2008

Presented legal panel at ONA 2008 in Washington, D.C., featuring Barbara Wall (Deputy General Counsel, Gannett) and Sherrese Smith (General Counsel,

July 21, 2008
Joined an amicus brief filed by Reporters Without Borders in the case of  CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. As stated by RSF, “the brief argued that a judge’s in camera review of news-gathering materials as directed by the appeals court raised First Amendment issues and should only happen under necessary conditions, which had not been reached.”

June 6, 2008
Conducted training session on “legal issues for online media” at ONA regional conference at Philadelphia Inquirer.


Alison Schary

Alison Schary is ONA's general counsel. In her role at Davis Wright Tremaine, she represents and counsels clients on a wide range of issues in media and intellectual property law, including libel, privacy, copyright, newsgathering and First Amendment matters. Alison regularly defends clients against claims for defamation, privacy and newsgathering torts, and she has experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in intellectual property matters. Alison also advises newspaper, magazine, website, television and book-publishing clients on pre-publication and pre-broadcast legal issues.