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Posted by: Landry Butler on Feb 13, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andre´e S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Smith, Associate Solicitor General; Sarah K. Campbell, Special Assistant to the Solicitor General and the Attorney General; and Sara Beth Myers, Assistant Attorney General for the appellant, the State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Richard L. Hollow, Knoxville, Tennessee; and Erik Christopher Bierbauer, New York, New York, for the appellees, Andrea Canning, Tim Beacham, and the Custodian of Records for Dateline NBC and NBCUniversal News Group.

Judge(s): SWINEY

The State of Tennessee (“the State”) attempted to divest Dateline NBC and NBCUniversal News Group of protection provided under Tenn. Code Ann. § 24-1-208, the press shield law. The Criminal Court for Knox County (“the Trial Court”) found and held that the State had failed to meet its burden under Tenn. Code Ann. § 24-1-208 and denied the State’s motion to divest. The State appeals. We find and hold that the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence both that “the information sought cannot reasonably be obtained by alternative means,” and that there is “a compelling and overriding public interest of the people of the state of Tennessee in the information.” Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 24-1-208(c)(2)(B) and (c)(2)(C). We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court denying the State’s motion to divest.