Daily Briefs

Journalists sanctioned for publishing screenshot of Zoom court hearing

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan today suspended Zoom video access to court proceedings for 90 days for three New York Times staffers for publishing a screenshot of a June 3, 2020, court hearing.

Court rules prohibit taking and publishing photographs, video, or audio of any judicial proceeding. Anyone who fills out an online form to attend court hearings on Zoom must check a box indicating they have read and understand those rules, which are repeated upon receiving the access code for the Zoom hearing.

The court began providing video access to public court hearings as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed the eastern district’s five courthouses.

All three New York Times journalists registered for the June 3, 2020, plea hearing for former UAW President Gary Jones and checked the box indicating they had read and understood the rules. It is unclear who took the photo which was published with the online story.

The suspension affects Automotive Reporter Neal Boudette; Photo Editor Brent Lewis; and Vikas Bajaj, senior business section staff editor.

“Any further violations of this nature will result in broader sanctions and/or monetary penalties against you or possibly other direct employees or freelance employees of The New York Times,” Court Administrator David Weaver said in a letter notifying the journalists of the suspensions.

The three journalists may appeal the 90-day suspensions to Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood, who would schedule a court hearing to hear the appeal.


Attorney invited to co-host program on LGBQT rights and First Amendment

Jennifer Dukarski, Butzel Long attorney, shareholder and leader of the firm’s connected car working group, will co-host a Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) Zoom program at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, on LGBQT rights and the First Amendment.

The discussion will focus on the implications of Bostock v. Clayton County as well as questions on whether and how the First Amendment has been used to advance equality. Featured participants include Stanford Law School’s Pamela Karlan, who argued Bostock and Paul Smith of the Campaign Legal Center, who argued Lawrence v. Texas.

Dukarski focuses her practice at the intersection of technology and communications with an emphasis on emerging and disruptive issues: digital media and content, cybersecurity and privacy, infotainment and shared mobility, and connected and autonomous cars.

In her practice, she has assisted clients with defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright, and other content-based claims.  She focuses on compliance with various industry regulations and has become a national leader in legal issues facing emerging automotive technology and is the leader of Butzel Long’s connected car working group. 

A self-titled “recovering engineer,” Dukarski was named one of the 30 Women Defining the Future of Technology in January 2020 by Warner Communications for her innovative thoughts and contributions to the tech industry.


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