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 call the hotline with any legal questions.
PNA Legal Hotline
PNA attorneys routinely provide members with pre-publication review and advice on the Right to Know law, the Sunshine Act, independent contractors, libel, court access issues, First Amendment, copyright and trademark, the Pennsylvania Shield Law and advertising issues. Many reporters from PNA member news media organizations also 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: Proposed Budget Copies and Inspection

Q:  A borough in our coverage area discussed and approved a proposed budget at its last public meeting. They also published public notice of the proposed budget’s approval. When I asked for…

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Legal Hotline: Election Code – Access to Ballots and Returns

Q: Can we see ballots and returns now that Election Day is over? A: Yes, the Pennsylvania Election Code makes ballots and returns public records.   Ballots and Absentee Ballot Records The…

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Legal Hotline: Election Code – Access to Candidate Information

Q: The county election office is removing political candidates’ addresses from election records like nominating petitions before they release them to us. We use this information for numerous purposes, including verifying residency…

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Legal Hotline: Sunshine Act and Public Comment Limits

Q: The Sunshine Act was just amended to require agencies to provide agendas in advance of public meetings. A local board is limiting public comment to agenda items only and won’t allow…

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Legal Hotline: FDA Tobacco Advertising Rules

Q:  What products are covered by the FDA’s tobacco advertising rules, and do they cover e-cigarettes and vaping liquids?  A:  FDA regulations governing tobacco advertising cover an expanded class of products and…

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Legal Hotline: Sunshine Act Penalties

Q: I believe the Sunshine Act may have been violated. Are there penalties for violations and if so, how do I pursue them? A: The Sunshine Act allows for the imposition of…

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Legal Hotline: Notary Seal

Q: We are switching to a new system that allows us to send proofs of publication via email. The proofs of publication are on paper, which is scanned and uploaded and the…

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Legal Hotline: Public Employee Severance Package

Q. I requested a copy of the severance package of a retiring borough administrator. The package was approved by borough council, but the borough has refused to release it citing privacy concerns. …

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Olympic Trademark in Ads and News Coverage

Q:  What are the rules governing the use of Olympic terms and logos in ads? What about news coverage? A:  Trademark and other laws protect this type of intellectual property, and advertisers…

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Legal Hotline: RTKL and Specificity

Q:  My RTKL request was denied for lack of specificity. What are the general rules I should be following to avoid that issue in the future? A:  The Right-to-Know Law requires requests…

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