Today Magistrate Robert Walker denied the request of Douglas Handshoe for Slabbed New Media to quash certain aspects of the 30(b)(6) deposition of Magnolia Group scheduled for late April, 2014. In denying the Handshoe motion Magistrate Walker ruled the shield for journalists promulgated by In Re Selcraig did not extent to third parties such as the Magnolia Group or its owner Bill Washburn.
“While I’m disappointed in the Magistrate’s decision it was well reasoned and I accept the ruling”, said Handshoe, who noted he filed the Motion to Quash to honor promises he made Bill Washburn in late 2012 to keep certain aspects of our communications off the record. “Trust is the only currency that spends well in cultivating and maintaining informational sources” noted Handshoe, who opined that the written communications in question with Bill Washburn of Magnolia Group will likely be of no use to the parties to the litigation.
“There has been significant speculation as to the identity of the tipster which resulted in the series of posts which exposed the questionable purchase of the Bay Tech Building by the Bay Waveland School District from politically connected local businessmen” said Handshoe who added that, “the tipster’s identity will remain a closely held trade secret of Slabbed New Media.”
Finally Handshoe noted that the legal question of whether his website qualifies as an authoritative journalistic informational source now appears well settled. “While numerous of my colleagues in the blogsphere correctly point out that anyone maintaining a contemporaneous journal is correctly termed a journalist, the courts as a whole have been slow to recognize that concept on a macro basis. I am gratified to see the Slabbed New Media website appears to have made the proverbial cut in the eyes of the local judiciary.”
A PDF of Magistrate Walker’s order and reasons can be read by clicking here.