Cozen O'Connor Secures First Amendment Victory for Arizona Capitol Times

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Cozen O'Connor has secured a victory for its client, BridgeTower Media (owner of the Arizona Capitol Times), in a case involving the First Amendment rights of journalists.

The case arose after Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers obtained an ex-parte injunction against an Arizona Capitol Times reporter who was investigating the senator's residency. The reporter had visited two of Rogers' homes in an attempt to ask her questions about her residency.

Rogers argued that the reporter's visits were trespassing and an exception to protections afforded to the press by the First Amendment. However, the court dismissed the injunction, noting, "Investigative reporting is a legitimate purpose. It just is.” The court found that the reporter's visits were protected by the First Amendment because they were conducted in furtherance of a legitimate newsgathering purpose. 

The court's ruling is a victory for the First Amendment and for the right of journalists to investigate public officials. It is also a victory for BridgeTower Media and the Arizona Capitol Times, which have a long history of reporting on important issues to Arizona residents.

Cozen O'Connor's team, led by Christopher Hennessy, included Michael de Leeuw, David Margulis, and Katheryn Gettman.

In response to the victory, the Times' Executive Editor, Gary Grado, commented, "Knowing that Cozen O'Connor's team was going to defend this full throttle allowed me to tell our reporters that we were in the fight with them. That was an important thing for these young reporters to know."

Read more about the case here.

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