Legal Hotline

LEGAL HOTLINE: (717) 703-3080

One of PNA’s most popular services to our members is the free Legal Hotline. PNA members may contact the hotline with legal questions about laws that impact journalists and the publishing industry as well as for quotes, background information, pre-publication review and for litigation-related resources.

PNA attorneys routinely provide members with advice on the Right to Know Law and other public records laws, the Sunshine Act, libel and invasion of privacy, court access issues, First Amendment, copyright and trademark, independent contractors, the Pennsylvania Shield Law, publication of notices, and advertising issues to name a few. In addition, many reporters from PNA member news organizations also rely on PNA’s attorneys for quotes in stories involving media law issues. PNA attorneys also routinely provide pre-publication review of advertising as well as editorial and news content.

PNA also participates as amicus curiae (friend of court) in litigation involving PNA members and in cases that impact the media industry. We also maintain a robust list of attorneys, law firms and clinics with media law expertise for referrals. The Legal Hotline can address requests for amicus participation, referrals, and other litigation-related resources.

You can reach the PNA Legal Hotline at (717) 703-3080 or

Access the Legal Hotline Archive

Legal Hotline: Emergency Time Response Logs

Q: I’d like to review emergency response logs from our county dispatch center related to fire, police and EMS responses. When I asked for access, the dispatch chief said 911 records are…

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Legal Hotline: Quasi-Judicial Deliberations

Q: A zoning hearing board heard testimony on a zoning application, took public comment, and then announced that they would “meet privately to discuss the application and public comment.” After the private…

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Legal Hotline: Complex Data Fees Media Exemption

Q: My reporting focuses on data, and I routinely request complex data sets like geographic information system records from public agencies. Several agencies have given me fee estimates based on market rates,…

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