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: Remote Public Meetings

Q:  What does the Sunshine Act say about public meetings in emergency situations?  Does the law address meeting remotely under the current disaster declaration? A: The Sunshine Act allows emergency meetings to…

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Legal Hotline: Governor’s Closure Order

Q: What does the governor’s order requiring “non-life sustaining” businesses to close mean for my news organization?  Do we have to close? What if we are located in one of the counties…

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Legal Hotline: Committee Meetings

Q: A borough council facing budget shortfalls created a committee to offer advice and investigate potential funding streams. Our reporter asked when the first committee meeting will take place, but the borough…

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Legal Hotline: Vacancy in Elected Office

Q:  Are local agencies like boroughs and school boards allowed to hold a personnel executive session to discuss candidates for a vacancy in elected office?  Does the RTKL allow agencies to deny…

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Legal Hotline: Executive Session Confidentiality Agreement

Q:  A city council has asked council members to sign a confidentiality agreement forbidding council members from talking about executive session discussions and imposing a fine if they do.  Is there anything in…

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Legal Hotline: 2020 Federal Election Political Ads

Q:    An advertiser wants to place a political ad for the upcoming primary and run similar ads closer to the presidential election, but the advertiser does not want to include any disclaimer…

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Legal Hotline: 911 Recordings and Transcripts

Q:  Are 911 call recordings and transcripts public records under the Right to Know Law? A:  The Right to Know Law allows agencies to deny access to 911 audio recordings and transcripts,…

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Legal Hotline: Act 22 and Law Enforcement Recordings

Q:  Are police dash camera videos public records under the Right to Know Law? A:  No, Act 22 of 2017 removed law enforcement audio and video recordings from the Right to Know Law…

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Legal Hotline: Sunshine Law and Generic Voting

Q:  A school board has been voting using nonspecific language such as “we vote to approve items 1-10 on the agenda.”  There’s not always an agenda provided and when one is distributed,…

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Legal Hotline: Hemp and CBD Ads 2020

Q:  Can we run ads for hemp and related products like CBD supplements and food additives?  If so, are there any laws or regulations that we should consider? A: The law is…

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