Is Sam Toll A Reporter? Judge Rules Yes.
Readers of The Teller are aware of the upcoming hearing to determine if The Teller’s editor Sam Toll is a journalist and if The Teller is a modern day equivalent of a newspaper.
In the meantime, attorneys for Mr. Toll filed a motion to dismiss based on new evidence uncovered surrounding Commissioner Gilman’s primary residence. Documents Commissioner Gilman signed and filed with Washoe County over the past 11 years have him living in Washoe Valley.
Is The Teller A Newspaper? Judge Rules No.
On Monday, Judge James Wilson ruled on the journalist/newspaper matter without holding the hearing scheduled for March 15th. Judge Wilson concludes that Sam Toll is a journalist, but that The Teller isn’t a newspaper or periodical because it isn’t ink on paper. We have attached the ruling below.
The order also grants Gilman to seek discovery of information on Toll’s sources from the time period of February 2017 through July 2017. Judge Wilson deemed Toll to be a journalist when he became a member of the Nevada Press Association in August of 2017.
Many of The Teller’s supporters and detractors were looking forward to the hearing at the historic Storey County Courthouse. They will miss out on what might have been some great courtroom drama.
But the news is not all disappointing for Toll. In his order, Judge Wilson denied Gilman’s request for sanctions and partial summary judgment.
Is The Ruling
Toll’s attorney, Luke Busby told The Teller;
“While we respect Judge Wilson, we fundamentally disagree that an online journalist should be compelled to reveal their sources because they publish news articles in an online newspaper instead of traditional print newspaper. Such a ruling undermines the protection of fundamental Constitutional principles of freedom of speech and of the press and stifles the free flow of information that is essential for any free society to exist.”
Gilman’s attorney had until March 6th at 5:00 to reply to Toll’s motion to dismiss. He failed to reply. This may adversely affect Gilman’s position.
We will make more information available as it happens.
This story was carried in several online news sources that don’t print on paper either.