Attorney: Media Six to pursue an appeal
The attorney for Charles Roark and Media Six said Friday they will continue trying to appeal a $75,000 defamation judgment.
Virginia Beach attorney L. Steven Emmert said he has about a week to petition a state Supreme Court panel to rehear Roark and Media Sixs petition for an appeal of the judgment.
It will be due next Friday, Emmert said Friday. Well do it (file) on or before then.
The panel turned it down Sept. 8, ruling there was no reversible error in a Roanoke City Circuit Court jurys decision Roark and Media Six had defamed Martinsville Commonwealths Attorney Joan Ziglar by printing a letter in the buzz tabloid.
Ziglar won a $75,000 judgment in December after the jury ruled that a letter from an inmate accusing Ziglar of official misdoing was defamatory. During the trial, Roark and buzz staff admitted they did nothing to check the truthfulness of the letter.
Emmert said this is an important case because the original ruling could limit press freedom.
The importance is what is your ability to run letters to the editors on a page? he said.
Emmert said it would take significant staff resources if editors are expected to fact check every letter. He also said any time youre worried that printing any criticism of a public official could get you sued, it could discourage papers from printing critical letters.