Business Law Hotline

Don't let your first brush with the law be in front of a judge and jury. The National Newspaper Association is offering, free to members, its Business Law Hotline.

Stave off possible court actions by consulting with an attorney about a variety of issues.

The hotline does not participate in conflicts between newspapers. It provides general information that will help you to determine when you need more legal assistance. For questions about libel, public notices, taxation or estate planning, consult your newspaper attorney.

Many state press organizations also provide hotlines for newsroom and other issues. Contact your state association to learn more.

There’s a new business laws hotline in town

ARLINGTON, VA—The National Newspaper Association has re-initiated its Business Law hotline.

NNA President Merle Baranczyk said the action follows a decision by the board of directors to wind down its long relationship with King & Ballow of Nashville, TN, and San Diego, CA.

NNA’s chief executive officer and general counsel, Tonda Rush, managed the legal hotline in her capacity as “of-counsel” to King & Ballow since 1997, with assistance from the firm’s lawyers, providing legal information to NNA members on issues governed primarily by federal law. The hotline provides general legal information to enable members to determine whether they need further consultation with their own attorneys.

NNA’s hotline is free to members: 703-237-9802.

Rush has formed a Virginia law practice to enable continuation of the hotline. Baranczyk added that the change in the relationship with King & Ballow did not mean an end to NNA’s relationship with the law firm. Attorney Steve Douse, of the K&B Nashville office, is currently lead counsel with Rush before the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit where the newspaper industry is challenging the Postal Regulatory Commission’s decision to bless the U.S. Postal Service’s special postage discount deal with direct mailer, Valassis Inc.

“The support King & Ballow has provided to NNA during the past 16 years has enabled community newspapers to avoid legal snarls of countless sorts,” Rush said. “The firm’s history in newspaper law—particularly in matters involving circulation, distribution and antitrust—is widely known and respected. We look forward to continuing to work with those attorneys from time to time.”

Baranczyk said the board of directors determined in March that access to legal information on federal matters was critical for many members. The change in structure enables NNA to continue that work at a lower cost.

The hotline will be staffed by Rush and NNA’s government relations counsel, Sara DeForge Hough. The board requested the attorneys to provide periodic columns in Publishers’ Auxiliary with answers to common questions. The first column, addressing a change in the law governing free interns, appears in this issue on this page.

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