First Amendment Law
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First Amendment Background

Mr. Charles (Chuck) A. Brown is a sole practitioner in the metropolis known as Lewiston, Idaho (population 31,894).

Mr. Brown graduated from the University of Idaho Law School in 1977; within two years he was co-counsel in defending the case of Caldero v. Lewiston Morning Tribune to a successful defense verdict.

Thereafter, Mr. Brown:

  • Has provided First Amendment defense to newspapers, television stations, and radio stations in what is referred to as the Rocky Mountain Corridor. This has had him involved in cases in the states of Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada.

  • Is a graduate of the American Trial Lawyers Association Institute on Advocacy, Court Practice Institute’s National Trial Advocacy, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). Mr. Brown is admitted before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Tenth Circuit.

  • Is the author of the Idaho chapters in the MLRC (Media Law Resource Center) 50-State Survey: Media Privacy and Related Law and the MLRC 50-State Survey: Media Libel Law, all of which are published annually. He is also the author of 4 of 20 chapters in the Idaho Media Law Handbook.

  • Represents The Idaho Statesman, the Lewiston Tribune, and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Thw Associated Press and other media statewide over the years.

  • Also represents various media defendants when requested to do so by the individual entities or their insurance providers.

  • Has represented the following on an individual case or multiple cases:

  • The Associated Press
  • Clear Channel Communications
  • The Idaho Statesman / Boise, Idaho
  • KLEW-TV/Fisher Broadcasting, Inc.
  • KVNI/The Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Las Vegas Business Press / Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Lewiston Tribune / Lewiston, Idaho
  • Moscow-Pullman Daily News / Moscow, Idaho
  • Salt Lake City Tribune / Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Sparks Tribune / Reno, Nevada
  • The Spokesman Review / Spokane, Washington
  • The Argonaut / University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho
  • The Evergreen / Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
  • Newspapers, television stations, and radio stations in the Rocky Mountain corridor, and others.

Mr. Brown has not lost a First Amendment defense case and has settled only two cases since he began handling libel and slander defense work two years after he began practicing law in 1977.

First Amendment Cases of Note: The buttons will link to a court opinion and/or a descriptive narrative for the following First Amendment cases with which Mr. Brown has been involved:

  • Saint Alphonsus Medical Center - Nampa, Inc., et al. v. St. Luke’s Health System, LTD. Idaho Federal District Court - Case No. 1:12-cv-00560-BLW. The lawsuits involved anti-trust issues concerning the purchase by St. Luke’s Health System of the Saltzer Medical Group. AEO (Attorney Eyes Only) documents were used at trial as sealed exhibits which then triggered redacted depositions and trial testimony, and the closure of courtroom proceedings when any reference was to be made in regard to an AEO document. On behalf of a media coalition, Mr. Brown intervened and was denied access to the sealed exhibits and redacted trial transcripts by the District Court. He then successfully petitioned to the Ninth Circuit to obtain full access.
    read more [pdf]

  • The Associated Press v. Otter, Case No. 1:12-cv-00255-EJL, Idaho Federal District Court was a 1983 action brought by Mr. Brown on behalf of a media coalition sought complete access to an execution of an Idaho prison inmate. Mr. Brown sought access to “. . . all phases of the execution process, beginning with the condemned inmate’s procession into the execution chamber, the restraining of the condemned inmate on the execution table, the connection of medical monitoring devices, the insertion of catheters, and the attachment of IV lines, and all incidental treatment of the condemned inmate be conducted in full and open view of the assembled witnesses to that execution” was denied. Thereafter, Mr. Brown appealed the matter to the Ninth Circuit whereupon the Court reversed and granted complete access to the media coalition.
    read more [pdf]

  • The Regents of the University of Idaho v. TPC Holdings, Inc., et al. Idaho State court, Second Judicial District, County of Latah, Case No. CV-2011-00916, involved the wrongdoing of a public official and, because of such, his or her personnel records were sought and obtained by Mr. Brown on behalf of a media coalition.
    read more [pdf]

  • Mike Arnzen v. Fisher Broadcasting, Inc., et al.  Idaho case tried to a complete defense verdict in May of 2004. (Plaintiff requested $1.5 million from the jury.)
    read more [pdf]

  • James D. Weaver v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., et al. Idaho Federal District Court case in August of 2003 resulting in hung jury to defendant’s advantage.
    read more [pdf]

  • Steven W. Rebeil v. Wick Communications Co. dba the Las Vegas Business Press, et al. Mr. Rebeil sought over 70 million dollars in damages. The case was won at summary judgment level and confirmed on appeal.
    read more [pdf]

  • John Langon v. Daily Sparks Tribune, et al.Nevada case won at summary judgment level.
    read more [pdf]

  • In re Contempt of Wright. Established reporter’s privilege in state of Idaho just two years after Idaho Supreme Court had ruled that the reporter’s privilege did not exist.
    read more [pdf]

Other case names available upon request.

First Amendment Law

Cases of Note:
Saint Alphonsus Medical Center, et al v. St. Luke's Health System, et al.[pdf]
The Associated Press v. Otter, et al.[pdf]
The Regents of the University of Idaho v. TPC Holdings, Inc. et al.[pdf]
Mike Arnzen v. Fisher Broadcasting, Inc. et al.[pdf]
James D. Weaver v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., et al.  [pdf]
Steven W. Rebeil v. Wick Communications Co. dba the Las Vegas Business Press, et al. [pdf]
John Langon v. Daily Sparks Tribune, et al. [pdf]
In the Matter of Contempt of Court by Jim Wright [pdf]
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