Media Guide Handbook on Oregon Law and Court System

Introduction

This handbook was prepared by the Oregon Bar-Press-Broadcasters Council to increase cooperation among these professions and provide wider understanding of the Oregon court system among journalists and broadcasters.

Members of the Oregon State Bar, the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters shared their expertise to develop this reference manual. Its purpose is to answer the most commonly asked questions concerning the media and courts.

This handbook explains concepts such as common law and statutory law. It answers questions about the ethical boundaries of the media and courts. It explains how ethics rules are enforced and who enforces them. Defamation, privacy laws, public access to government records and rules regarding cameras in the courtroom are among the topics discussed. A glossary of common legal terms concludes the handbook.

The authors have produced a short course on how courts function. The intent of this effort is to enhance understanding between those who use the courts and those who inform the public about courtroom events.

Adobe PDF icon Media Guide Handbook on Oregon Law and Court System (pdf file)

Table of Contents

1. FREE PRESS AND FAIR TRIAL
Oregon State Bar-Press-Broadcasters Council
Guidelines for Reporting and comment on Criminal Proceedings
Judicial Conference Resolution of 1977

2. COMMON LAW
Dual Function of Common Law
Distinguishing Common Law Precedent
Formalization of Common Law Appellate Opinions

3. OREGON STATE COURTS
The Judiciary
Jurisdiction
Municipal Court
Justice Court
County Court
District Court
Circuit Court
Tax Court
Land Use Board of Appeals
Court of Appeals
Supreme Court

4. FEDERAL COURTS IN OREGON
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
Jurisdiction
Civil Case Management
Central Calendar Cases
Assigned Cases
Special Handling
Civil Action
Motion Practice
Pretrial Order
Pretrial Conference
Juries
Clerk’s Office
Case Numbering
U.S. Magistrates
Jurisdiction and Powers of Magistrates
Bankruptcy Court
Major Areas of Difference Between State and Federal Courts in Oregon
Oregon Cases in Other Federal Courts
Federal Jurisdiction of Oregon Cases in Other States

5. STATE CIVIL TRIAL PROCEDURES
Summary Judgment
Probate Procedure
Domestic Relations Procedure
Family Abuse Prevention Act

6. STATE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Felony Proceedings
Misdemeanor Proceedings

7. CRIMINAL RECORDS
Public Records Laws: What Can Be Disclosed
Limitations on Access to Public Records
Procedure for Obtaining Criminal History
Setting Aside a Conviction or Record of Arrest

8. JUVENILE COURT

Delinquency Jurisdiction
Dependency Jurisdiction
Juvenile Procedure -Preliminary Hearing
Juvenile Procedure -Jurisdictional Hearing
Juvenile Procedure -Dispositional Hearing
Access to Records
Access to Hearings

9. CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM

Media or Other Public Access Coverage of Court Events (Trial Court Rule 3.180)

10. BROADCAST MEDIA REGULATION
‘Public Interest’ Regulation
Political Editorials -Personal Attack Rule, Political Candidate Advertising
Obscene and Indecent Programming
Lotteries -State Authorized, Indian Gaming
Contests and Promotions
Children’s Programming on Television
Recorded Telephone Conversations
Prohibited Advertising on Broadcast Stations -Liquor, Tobacco, Fireworks

11. THE FEDERAL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA); FEDERAL PRIVACY ACT;
OREGON’S PUBLIC RECORDS LAW

Freedom of Information Act
Published Data
Non-Published Data
Requesting Data Under the FOIA
Vaughn Indices and Disputes and Appeals On Exemptions
Exemptions to FOIA
Comparison of FOIA and Litigation Discover Procedures
Federal Privacy Act
Exemption and Exceptions
Routine Destruction of Records
Unofficial Records
Electronic Records
Oregon’s Public Records Law
Sources of Public Record Information
The World Wide Web
Tips on Using the Public Records Law

12. DEFAMATION
What is Defamation?
Oregon’s Retraction Statute
Privileges
Media Standards in Defamation Lawsuits
Public Figure Plaintiffs
Private Figure Plaintiffs
Damages

13. ETHICS
Police Agency Personnel
Jurors
Attorneys
Judges
Federal Government Ethics Rules

14. HEALTH CARE INFORMATION: OREGON CODE OF COOPERATION
Guidelines for Hospitals and Other Healthcare Facilities
Guidelines for Physicians
Guidelines for News Media
Release of Information to the News Media
Patient Conditions Defined
Police and Accident Cases
Outpatient and Emergency Care
Psychiatric, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Cases
Organ Transplants
Maternity
Unusual Illnesses
Death
Interviews and Photographs
Patient Discharges
Newsworthy Persons

15. OREGON’S SHIELD LAW
Statutory Exceptions
Informant’s Consent
Protection Other Than Oregon’s Shield Law

16. GLOSSARY

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