John Edwards Featured in Courthouse News Service Discussing Lawsuit Brought Against Travis County District Clerk

November 30, 2021 | Mentions



In early 2021, a Travis County district clerk filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Courthouse News Service based on abstention. Recently, on Monday, November 29, a U.S. magistrate judge in the Western District of Texas – Austin Division issued a report and recommendation that the District Court deny the motion, stating that the case “does not present the extraordinary circumstances necessary” for the Court to decline jurisdiction.

As lead counsel for Courthouse News Service (CNS), Jackson Walker partner John K. Edwards recently addressed the decision and challenges surrounding timely access to court records.

“Judge Hightower’s opinion rejecting abstention as a ground for dismissal is well reasoned and adds to the growing number of decisions rejecting the Seventh Circuit’s expansive view of abstention in the CNS v. Brown decision,” John said. “Federal courts are uniquely qualified to address First Amendment court record access challenges, and the rote defense strategy seeking to avoid federal review by arguing abstention is no longer viable.”

To read more, view the article “Federal report in Texas knocks out central defense by clerks fighting First Amendment.”

John EdwardsMeet John

John K. Edwards represents clients in complex commercial/tort litigation and arbitrations on a national basis, focusing on media and entertainment, government procurement and contracts, and employment law. John has routinely represented broadcast and print media companies in a wide variety of areas implicating the First Amendment, including defense of defamation and related speech-based claims, obtaining media access to government documents and court proceedings under state open court and public information laws, and defending against civil and criminal subpoenas issued to members of the media. John is lead counsel representing Courthouse News Service in the Travis County lawsuit and another lawsuit in New Mexico.

For more information, view “The calculator’s tale” on Courthouse News Service and read John’s insights “State Court Clerks in New Mexico Delay Access to Court Records in Violation of the First Amendment, But an Adequate Remedy Proves Elusive.”