Focus Reporter Invokes “Shield Law” Against Township in Civil Case

New Jersey Governor Chris Christe and Parsippany Focus Publisher Frank Cahill at a press conference held in Parsippany

Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills issues subpoena to Parsippany Focus publisher and editor in attempt to reveal sources

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Governor Chris Christie with Parsippany Focus Publisher Frank Cahill at a recent press conference held at Parsippany Municipal Building on August 1

Inglesino, Wyciskala and Taylor, attorneys for The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills recently issued a subpoena to Parsippany Focus Publisher, Editor, and Reporter, Frank Cahill, to appear for deposition and to produce certain documents related to the case of Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills v. former Police Captain James Carifi, and third party defendants James R. Barberio, John P. Inglesino, Esq. Justin A. Marchetta, Esq. and Aurora Information Security and Risk et al.

The subpoena was issued on July 7, 2014.

Documents requested include email correspondences between Mr. Cahill, Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Captain James Carifi, Patrick F. Toscano, Jr., Esq., Arthur G. Margeotes, Esq., Christopher L. Deininger, Esq. all written and verbal communications that have been reduced to writing by and between any employees, members, representatives of Parsippany Focus and the above individuals; any and all current and/or former elected officials of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills; and any documentations possessed or controlled by Parsippany Focus that relates to, or concerns any claim or defense asserted in this matter.

Denis F. Driscoll, Esq. issued the subpoena on behalf of the law firm, Inglesino, Wyciskala and Taylor, LLC.

N.J.S.A. 2A:84A-21, the New Jersey Newspaper Privilege law (also known as the Shield Law), is a law that is both comprehensive and absolute in its protection of the editorial process and the news media’s use of confidential sources.

The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills seeks to compel Frank Cahill, the primary reporter and editor of the web news site, “Parsippany Focus” which reports on local news related to Parsippany, to be deposed and to divulge unpublished information and the source(s) concerning the case of Parsippany-Troy Hills vs. Carifi, et.al.

On August 6, Cahill’s attorney, Damian Shammas, filed with the Morris County Superior Court a motion to “quash” the subpoena. Shammas said “The law in New Jersey is clear that if there is a requisite connection to news media, a purpose to gather or disseminate news, and the materials at issue were obtained in the process of professional newsgathering activities then the New Jersey Shield Law will protect disclosure of sources and news or information gathered. We are confident that the Court will quash these subpoenas.”

Parsippany Focus has written two articles regarding the on-going litigation of former Captain James Carifi. (See Carifi’s attorney relieved by Court; hires new attorney and Barberio and Inglesino accused of Bribery and Official Misconduct. AGAIN!)

Cahill has been publishing Parsippany Focus on a regular basis, since October 1, 1989 (with a short interruption in the late 1990s). The frequency of these news reports depends on the available news to report, and the time he has to report, but on an average he works 30- 40 hours weekly as a reporter, photographer and editor.

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