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96/02/02: "Relatives Sue 'Hit Man' Publisher, Say Manuals Were Used in Contract
Murders," Product Safety & Liability Reporter (BNA), at 94 (publisher's
alleged liability for book re contract killing):
"The case will test the extent of First Amendment protection, according to
Lawrence Savell, an attorney who specializes in media law and product liability.
"He said that courts normally give a lot of leeway to the media. Although the
complaint quoted some 'egregious' language from the manuals, a court would probably look
at whether the books included a direct statement that a person should be killed, he said.
For example, a book with the title Kill the President that included specific
instructions might not be protected, he said. [Ed.'s Note: See Savell's Analysis and
Perspective article, 'Products Liability Claims Against Publishers: Can Information be a
Defective Product?,' 21 PSLR 1166. Savell is with Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New
96/03: American Lawyer, at 109-111, 117 (several articles on defense of major
products liability litigation)
96/04/05: "Personal Notes on Lawyers," New York Law Journal,
"Marjorie M. Glover, W. Colm McKeveny and Lawrence E. Savell have become
counsel to Chadbourne & Parke LLP in its New York office."
96/06: "When are Journalists Entitled to Overtime Pay?," Editors Only,
"'The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that employees covered by
the FLSA are usually entitled to overtime compensation when they work extra hours,'
Savell, legal Counsel of the law firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP, in New York City.
Savell specializes in products liability and media law defense and counseling.
"'However,' Savell points out, 'the FLSA exempts "executive, administrative
and professional employees."' The issue, he says, is whether reporters are to be
considered 'artistic' 'professionals' (a term of art) under the statute. Under the
notes Savell, it is the employer who bears the burden of proving that employees fall
within this exemption.
"Cases in Point
"Savell cites several cases in which different courts reached varying decisions,
based on the particular facts presented in each case. In Sherwood v. The Washington
Post, 1994, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that a
reporter for the Washington Post was not entitled to overtime pay. 'It
concluded that the reporter, who was required to originate story ideas, maintain a wide
network of sources, write engaging, imaginative prose, and produce stories containing
thoughtful analysis of complex issues, was an "artistic"
"professional" exempt from the overtime compensation requirements.' But in Reich
v. Newspapers of New England, Inc., 1995, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First
Circuit ruled in favor of compensating newspaper reporters for overtime. 'It concluded
that reporters for a community newspaper whose day-to-day duties consisted primarily of
general assignment work, which required intelligence, diligence and accuracy rather than
creativity, invention, and imagination, were not "artistic"
"professionals" exempt from the overtime compensation requirements,' he says.
"After reviewing these and other related decisions, Savell compiled the following
list of qualities to be considered regarding your own stable of journalists to, he says,
arguably qualify them as 'artistic' 'professionals':
"--Produce work which depends primarily on and requires consistent exercise of
creativity, invention, imagination and talent (these are the key criteria, which
should be fleshed out in detail, beyond just intelligence, diligence, and accuracy).
"--Perform work that is predominately (if not exclusively) original and
creative in character, analytical, interpretative, and highly individualized.
"--Originate story ideas.
"--Develop and maintain a wide network of sources for
"--Write engaging, imaginative prose.
"--Produce stories containing thoughtful analysis of complex issues.
"--Make complicated matters simple to readers.
"--Develop entirely fresh angles on topics.
"--Editorialize about and interpret events covered.
"--Consistently exercise discretion and judgment ('not a robot run by his
editors' or a 'leg man sent under specific instructions' to cover particular stories).
"--'The type of fact-gathering that demands the skill or expertise of an
investigative journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer or Washington Post,
or a bureau chief for the New York Times.'
"--'Editorial writers, columnists, critics, and 'topflight' writers of analytical
and interpretive articles.'
"Essentially, he says, editors need to: 'Show that work done is not predominately
functional in nature, and is far more than general assignment work, routine
fact-gathering, recasting press releases or information taken from a police blotter,
preparing skeletal obituaries or real estate transaction reports, reporting about routine
community events such as lunch menus and church reports in standard format.'"
96/06: "What is Libel and the Right of Privacy?," Brandeis Brief
(regarding libel/privacy talk with high school journalism students):
"Three lawyers from the [Association of the Bar of the City of New York], . . .
Mr. Larry Savell spoke to Ms. Epple's Journalism class."
96/08/05: "Time Settles British Libel Suit," Folio: First Day, at 2:
"Also, although U.S. courts can refuse to enforce a foreign judgment where libel
laws are significantly different from U.S. law, Time would have no such protection
[in England] since the magazine is sold in England and maintains a bureau there, said
Lawrence Savell, with the New York office of Chadbourne & Parke LLP."