Legal Hotline launched for SNPA members: (844) 804-2016
SNPA has launched a free Legal Hotline for members – (844) 804-2016 – to assist newspapers with a broad range of legal issues.
Hotline attorneys and CPAs will tackle questions about circulation, independent contractors, labor and employment law, taxes, finances and accounting, employment benefits, open records, libel and privacy, and other issues newspapers encounter.
"The range of the new SNPA 24/7 hotline service exceeds anything currently available in the industry," said Raleigh attorney John Bussian, who is chairing this project for the SNPA Board of Directors. "The new service both expands and compliments all SNPA does with its Friend-of-the-Court and First Amendment efforts to promote free press and open government rights."
The attorneys and CPAs who will take calls from SNPA member newspapers are the best in the business: The Bussian Law Firm PLLC, Fisher & Phillips, Way, Ray, Shelton & Co., P.C. and The Zinser Law Firm.
There is no cost to SNPA members who use this service for questions that can be readily addressed by the attorneys or CPAs. If additional research is needed or further legal representation is required, the callers will be advised that the firm's prevailing charges would apply.
Bussian will answer all incoming calls and refer them to the most appropriate attorney or CPA firm. These are detailed areas of expertise of each Hotline partner:
John Bussian and his firm counsels publishing executives to ensure that stories get published safely; that courtrooms, court records, government meetings, and government records remain open to the public and press; and to prevent libel, privacy, and other lawsuits aimed at newsgathering, publishing, and broadcasting via Internet and traditional means. Bussian is a member of the North Carolina, Florida, Texas and U.S. Supreme Court bars and works as an advocate for the press in courtrooms and legislatures.
The firm's areas of practice include: employment law (including general advice, ADA, FMLA, Title VII, EEOC and state discrimination charges/litigation and similar areas), immigration, OSHA, employment contracts, non-competes/restrictive covenants, traditional labor (union avoidance/collective bargaining), affirmative action plans/OFCCP, benefits and executive compensation.
J. Hagood Tighe, a partner with Fisher & Phillips, said: "Too often, employers wing tough situations and call their employment lawyer after the decision has been made. This can limit the opportunities for an employer to ensure they are making the right decision and handling it properly. For example, once a termination has occurred, it is usually impossible to 'unring that bell.' Fisher & Phillips is excited to participate in this program because we want to proactively help SNPA members make sound employment decisions and avoid the problems that can distract them from their businesses – and cost them large sums of money in litigation. This is a great member benefit and I hope SPNA members will take advantage of it."
Steve Shelton is president of Way, Ray, Shelton & Co., P.C., where he specializes in accounting and auditing. He has concentrated on accounting in the newspaper industry for more than 30 years. He also has experience with mergers, acquisitions, equity and debt financing and accounting for the day-to-day activities of the newspaper industry.
He said, "We are excited to participate in the SNPA Hotline. We believe the hotline will be invaluable to SNPA members as they seek answers to legal, tax, financial and accounting issues. Hopefully it will become the place to turn to when those needs arise."
L. Michael Zinser is president of The Zinser Law Firm, P.C., in Nashville, Tenn. The firm's areas of expertise are circulation legal issues, including the independent contractor vs. employee issue, in every conceivable context. The firm also specializes in practice and procedure under the National Labor Relations Act before the National Labor Relations Board and the courts. On behalf of newspapers, Zinser's firm has engaged in collective bargaining, NLRB elections and NLRB unfair labor practice litigation.
Zinser says: "The best legal advice is preventive medicine. I welcome this opportunity to help newspapers before they end up in litigation."
SNPA members are encouraged to take advantage of this free member service: (844) 804-2016.