Legal Hotline

LEGAL HOTLINE: (717) 703-3080

One of the PNA’s most popular services to our members is the free Legal PNA Legal HotlineHotline. PNA members may call the hotline with any legal questions.

PNA attorneys routinely provide members with advice on HIPAA, open records, the state Sunshine Act, use of independent contractors, libel, telemarketing, copyrights, the Pennsylvania Shield Law and legal advertising. Many reporters from PNA member newspapers rely on PNA’s attorneys for quotes on stories involving legal issues.

Members may also contact PNA’s Media Law Counsel directly via email.

Legal Hotline: Public Comments Prior to Meeting

Q: A local agency is holding a virtual public meeting and it is requiring public comments to be submitted in writing 1 day prior to the meeting. However, the agency is not…

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Legal Hotline: Copyright Basics

Q:  What are the general rules of copyright and does it protect the content we create or works created by others that we use? A:  Original news content is protected by copyright,…

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Legal Hotline: Trademark Basics

Q: What are the basic rules of trademark that apply to our classified advertising section? Is the publication liable if an advertiser uses a trademark without permission from the trademark holder? Does…

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Legal Hotline: Regular Meeting Notice

Q:  Does the Sunshine Act require agencies to provide a general meeting notice at the beginning of the year, and if so, what are the requirements? A: Yes.  The Sunshine Act requires…

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Legal Hotline: RTKL and Public Meeting Records

Q: On Monday, I asked a school district for copies of records that will be discussed during its regular public meeting scheduled for Friday. They told me to file a Right to…

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Legal Hotline: Hunting License Ads

Q: An advertiser wants to run an ad saying “Will pay up to $500 for valid PA deer hunting license.” Should we accept this type of ad? A: No. Pennsylvania deer hunting…

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Legal Hotline: RTKL-Enhanced Electronic Access

Q: An agency makes some of its public records available online through a vendor, but the vendor charges fees well above the $.25 per page copy fee and only accepts certain credit…

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Legal Hotline: Access to Election Returns

Q: What are the rules regarding public access to election returns? A:  The Pennsylvania Elections Code makes election returns public records. In counties that use electronic voting systems, public access to returns…

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Legal Hotline: Press Access to Polling Places

Q:  What are the rules on press access to polling places? A:   The Pennsylvania Election Code, 25 P.S. § 3060, provides, among other things, as follows: (a) Until the polls are closed,…

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Legal Hotline: Political Ads – Last Minute

Q: Isn’t there a rule in Pennsylvania or federal law that restricts last-minute political ads? A: There is no federal law or regulation that prohibits last minute political ads in newspapers, and…

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