California Court of Appeal ungags the Orange County Register

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reports:

The California Court of Appeal yesterday ordered a lower court to vacate an unprecedented order that prevented The Orange County Register from reporting on testimony in a lawsuit involving its parent company, Freedom Communications, Inc.

The unanimous panel said the gag order must immediately be vacated because Freedom’s right to publish was “so obvious that no purpose could be served” by lengthier consideration of the issue.

A trial court judge presiding over the case, Gonzalez v. Freedom Communications, Inc., issued the gag order on September 19 to prevent potential witnesses from reading about the suit. The order prohibited all parties, including The Register and other Freedom properties, from discussing any non-expert testimony given at the trial. It included “all means and manner of communication whether in person, electronic, through audio or video recording, or print medium.”

You can read the opinion here.

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