Legal Updates: 2009

By on December 28, 2009

Below is a summary of legal updates from 2009:

Nov. 12, 2009
Conducted training session in Richmond, Va., on Internet law issues.

Oct. 22, 2009
Conducted training session in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Internet law issues.

Oct. 2, 2009
Presented legal panel at ONA 2009 conference in San Francisco, featuring Andy Mar (Senior Attorney, Microsoft), Fred von Lohmann (Senior Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation), and Nicole Wong (Deputy General Counsel, Google).

October-November, 2009
Entered into a partnership with the Online Medial Legal Network to provide pro bono assistance to digital content creators.

August 2009
Joined a coalition of media organizations in supporting the Federal Anti-SLAPP Project’s efforts to enact a federal anti-SLAPP statute.

April 2, 2009
Conducted training session on “legal issues for online publishers” at Internet News Reporting Workshop sponsored by Virginia Press Association.

March 24, 2009
Joined an amicus brief filed by the Citizen Media Law Project in the case of Donald Maxon and Janet Maxon v. Ottawa Publishing Co. LLC.

In this case, the Maxons sought to force an Ottawa Publishing Co. website ( to provide identifying information about people who, the Maxons claimed, had posted defamatory comments on the site.

The trial court sided with Ottawa Publishing, ruling that the Maxons had failed to make a sufficient showing to overcome the right of the posters to post anonymously the Maxons appealed. ONA joined an amicus brief filed in support of Ottawa Publishing in the Illinois Court of Appeals.

The appeals court reversed the lower court’s ruling.

For more on this case, refer to this Citizen’s Media Law Project description.

Jan. 23, 2009
Sent a letter to President Obama regarding the issuance of the Presidential Memorandum on the Transparency and Open Government, Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act and Executive Order on Presidential Records.


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.