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: Emergency Time Response Logs

Q: I requested access to emergency time response logs from the local emergency dispatch agency. The records provided had all response addresses redacted, and as a result, I have no way to…

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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 Clean Slate law….

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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: 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: 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: 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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Legal Hotline: Housing for Older Persons

Q: What documentation should news media organizations get from advertisers when allowing “adult 55+,” “retirement community,” or “senior housing” in a housing ad? A: Publishers are generally not liable for this type…

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Legal Hotline: Medical Marijuana Ads

Q: Are there any rules governing ads for medical marijuana under Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act? A: Yes, the Medical Marijuana Act imposes a number of restrictions on advertising and marketing medical marijuana…

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Legal Hotline: Contractor Ads

Q: A reader called to complain about a contractor ad that appeared in our paper. The ad did not contain a contractor registration number, and the reader was unhappy with the work…

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