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: Clean Slate Law

Q: A reader called our office demanding that we remove an article that covered his arrest and subsequent conviction for DUI. He said the conviction was erased under the new Clean Slate…

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Legal Hotline: Self-Service Storage Ads

Q:  Are there any laws that govern advertising by self-service storage facilities selling personal property? A:  Yes.  The Self-Service Storage Facilities Act governs the process by which self-service storage facilities may advertise…

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Legal Hotline: Public Road Accidents

Q: One of our journalists was covering an accident scene on a public highway, from the public street, when a police officer threatened to arrest him if he didn’t leave the scene….

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Legal Hotline: Estate Notices

Q: An advertiser wants to run an estate notice and only include the name of the deceased and an address for the executor. Is that enough information? A: No. Estate notices are…

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Legal Hotline: Communications Decency Act

Q: What is the Communications Decency Act and what does it protect? A: The Communications Decency Act is a federal law that contains a safe harbor provision protecting website operators from liability…

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Legal Hotline: New Safety Executive Session

Q: Is there a new safety and security executive session in the Sunshine Act, and if so, what does it allow? A: There is a new executive session related to safety and…

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Legal Hotline: Law Enforcement Recordings

Q: My local police department just implemented a policy that requires officers to use body cameras during all interactions with the public. Is the audio and video gathered by law enforcement officers…

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Legal Hotline: Recording Interviews

Q: We encourage our reporters to record interviews for accuracy, with interviews typically recorded over the phone and sometimes in person. Are there any legal issues associated with recording interviews? A: Yes….

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Legal Hotline: RTKL Fees

Q: What fees can an agency charge for records? A: It depends on the type of agency; the Office of Open Records sets the fee schedule for local and commonwealth agencies, while…

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Legal Hotline: Firewood Ads

Q: Are there laws that govern ads for firewood? Does the law require firewood to be sold in cords or can advertisers use terms like “racks” and “truck loads?” A: Pennsylvania and…

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