Saying that Tennessee Court of Appeals judges appear to have misinterpreted several aspects of the law, attorneys for NewsChannel 5 and reporter Phil Williams are appealing the court's ruling that Williams may have presented General Sessions Judge Dan Eisenstein in a false light. The court, says Neal & Harwell's Ronald Harris, overlooked a key point in making its decision.
The filing claims that case law and U.S. Court of Appeals rulings have determined that a false statement is an “essential element” of false light. The petition also accuses the Court of Appeals decision of “conflicting with constitutional rights,” including freedom of speech.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that NewsChannel 5 investigative reporter Phil Williams may have painted General Session Judge Dan Eisenstein in a false light in a 2010 story questioning the hiring of an unlicensed psychologist for Mental Health Court. But, writes Pierce Greenberg, the court said Williams did not libel Eisenstein in his reporting. The false-light claims will be resolved in Davidson County Circuit Court. Check out the full opinion here.
The Court of Appeals also singled out Williams’ style of reporting. After receiving a “no comment” from Eisenstein on the way to his car, Williams said in the broadcast that Eisenstein “Still ... had nothing to say.” Eisenstein maintained that he released statements through his lawyer, which were also used in the broadcast.
Newly minted Metro Councilman Scott Davis says he'll back attorney Lynda Jones for the General Sessions bench spot previously held by the late Leon Ruben. “There are more people than you think that are going for Lynda. I hope others will start to come out for her now,” he tells Michael Cass.
Jones is going up against nine others.