In 2009 Lecturer Jim Wagstaffe Helped Quash Warrant Issued to SF State Student Journalist

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- “The Supreme Court drew a line and it’s, ‘Are you performing as a journalist?’ Not, ‘Are you employed by a journalistic entity?’” said Jim Wagstaffe, a private San Francisco attorney focused on First Amendment issues.

In 2009, Wagstaffe successfully quashed a warrant to search a San Francisco State University student journalist who had witnessed a homicide and taken photos.

“There are gray areas and there are black-and-white areas,” he said. “I understand there are people who post things on Facebook. That’s gray. If it’s their livelihood, if they perform as a journalist, that person is in the black-and-white area, regardless of how they get their paycheck.”