Media & Public Access Law

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Media Law

Attorneys
Bryan M. Dench

Skelton, Taintor & Abbott lawyers have taken an active role in the public life of Maine’s communities for more than a century and a half. Essential to a free and open society is a well-informed citizenry and a free press to keep people informed and lead vigorous public dialogue. Our nation’s forefathers recognized this essential truth, which is why the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the press as one of our fundamental rights.

State and federal laws, such as the Freedom of Information Act and Maine Freedom of Access Act, seek to ensure the full extent of the guarantee of the First Amendment by assuring access to public proceedings and records for the press and public. We have years of experience counseling the press and citizens how to exercise these rights effectively and winning cases in court for them when access is denied, such as our success for the Lewiston Daily Sun forcing the City of Auburn to open the proceedings of an ad hoc committee investigating civil service hiring practices to the public.

We have lawyers experienced in counseling the press how to avoid defamation claims or claims a person has been depicted in a false light, and we have helped our clients protect themselves from such claims. Our firm serves as general counsel for the Lewiston Sun Journal and has counseled other papers and television and radio clients.

We also represent local governments that receive requests for public records or have questions about their obligations under the Freedom of Access Act to provide access to all public proceedings.  We have given them effective and practical advice on how to fulfill their legal duties.  How to maintain public confidence while still properly guarding the confidentiality of those matters that legally can and should remain confidential.

Media law is a narrow area of Maine law. It’s important to have an experienced media law attorney to handle your media law issue.

Based in central Maine, Skelton, Taintor & Abbott lawyers have advocated on behalf of clients since 1853 and have built a reputation as one of Maine’s most respected and effective law firms. We serve clients in Portland, South Portland, Biddeford, Lewiston, Auburn, Rockland, Augusta, Waterville and Bangor, as well as Androscoggin, Cumberland and York counties and throughout Maine.