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No Prior Restraint in OC Register's Wage & Hour Case

A trial court does not have the right to prohibit a newspaper from covering the testimony in a lawsuit against it. In Freedom Communications, Inc. v. Superior Court (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 150, the Court of Appeal reversed an order prohibiting the the Orange County Register from reporting on the trial of a wage and hour class action in which the Register is the defendant. You can download Freedom Communications here in pdf or MS Word format. On the eve of trial in a certified wage and hour class action against the The Orange County Register, judge David Velasquez issued an order enjoining the Register from reporting on trial testimony in the case against it. The Court of Appeal grantd the newspaper's writ petition, finding the order an impermissible prior restraint violative of both the United States and California Constitutions.

Finding plain error, we issue a peremptory writ of mandate in the first instance directing the trial court to vacate the order barring The Register from publishing the testimony of witnesses at trial.

 The opinion is final. No petition for review was filed.

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