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S254282

IN THE
SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA

FREDERICK THEODORE RALL III,

Petitioner,

v.

TRIBUNE 365, LLC, et al.

Respondents.

After a Decision by the Court of Appeal


Second Appellate District, Division Eight
Case No. B284566

REPLY TO ANSWER TO PETITION FOR REVIEW

Roger A. Lowenstein, Bar No. 200921 *Jeffrey Lewis, Bar No. 183934
1949 Coldwater Canyon Drive Sean Rotstan, Bar No. 316041
Beverly Hills, CA 90210 609 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 200
Tel: (213) 705-9153 Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
Fax: (213) 381-8489 Tel: (310) 935-4001
E-Mail: rogerlowenstein@gmail.com Fax (310) 872-5389
E-Mail: Jeff@JeffLewisLaw.com

Attorneys for Petitioner


TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................. 2


TABLE OF AUTHORITIES............................................................. 3
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................. 4
LEGAL DISCUSSION ..................................................................... 9
I. The Court Should Grant and Hold this Petition
Because Wilson Controls the Outcome Here ................... 9
II. The Court Should Grant Review in this Case to
Resolve A Question of First Impression: the
Application of the “True and Fair” Report
Privilege to a Report of a Police Investigation that
becomes “Untrue and Unfair” once an Intervening
Event Reverses the Conclusion of the Original
Investigation .................................................................... 10
III. The Court Should Grant Review in this Case to
Remind Lower Courts that Plaintiffs’ Evidence is
to Be Believed True at the Anti-SLAPP Stage and
all Inferences are to be made in a Plaintiff’s Favor ....... 12
IV. The Times’ Argument as to the Amicus Letters
Should not Impact the Decision to Grant Review:
Seven First Amendment Organizations Have
Raised Widespread First Amendment Concerns ........... 13
CONCLUSION ............................................................................... 15
CERTIFICATE OF WORD COUNT.............................................. 16
EXHIBIT 1 ...................................................................................... 17
PROOF OF SERVICE .................................................................... 30
SERVICE LIST ............................................................................... 31

2
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

Cases
1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. Steinberg
(2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 568 .................................................... 7, 12
Handelsman v. San Francisco Chronicle
(1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 381............................................................ 11
Lafayette Morehouse, Inc. v. Chronicle Pub. Co.
(1995) 37 Cal. App. 4th 855 .......................................................... 6
Park v. Board of Trustees
(2017) 2 Cal.5th 1057 .................................................................... 9
Pierce v. San Jose Mercury News
(1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 1626........................................................ 11
Wilson v. Cable News Network, Inc.
(2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 822 .......................................................... 5, 9

Other Authorities
“When Truth and Accuracy Diverge: The Fair Report of a
Dated Proceeding”, 34 Stanford L. Rev. 1041 (1982) .................. 7

3
S254282

IN THE
SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA

FREDERICK THEODORE RALL III,

Petitioner,

v.

TRIBUNE 365, LLC, et al.

Respondents.

After a Decision by the Court of Appeal


Second Appellate District, Division Eight
Case No. B284566

PETITION FOR REVIEW

INTRODUCTION
This petition presents an extraordinary circumstance:
seven prominent First Amendment organizations have filed
amicus curiae briefs urging this Court to grant review.1 Their

1 Copies of these letters are attached to this brief as Exhibit “1.”

4
support against a well-known newspaper demonstrates the
important public issues presented by this petition. The Times has
inappropriately wrapped itself with the cloak of the First
Amendment to justify the defamation and wrongful firing of an
employee as a “decision not to publish.” But destroying Ted Rall’s
reputation is not a mere “decision not to publish.” If the Times
wanted to simply “not publish” Rall’s work it could have elected
to quietly do so either with or without pay. The Times did not
choose this approach. The public destruction of Rall’s reputation
– declaring for all that Rall has no journalistic integrity – is more
than a mere “decision not to publish” and Rall should be given
the opportunity to put his defamation case before the jury.
The Times’ Answer to the Petition for Review does not
convincingly respond to any of Rall’s arguments. First, Rall
argued that this Court should grant and hold this petition
awaiting the outcome of this Court’s decision in Wilson v. Cable
News Network, Inc. (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 822, review granted
Mar. 1, 2017, S239686 (“Wilson”). The Times protests that Wilson
involved discrimination and is not applicable to any case that
does not involve discrimination. Not so. Wilson is a “Prong One”
anti-SLAPP case resolving whether a lawsuit challenging CNN’s
decision to fire a CNN employee satisfied the “arising out of”
requirement for anti-SLAPP motions. Nothing on the face of
Wilson limits the holding to discrimination cases. More

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importantly, the legal question of whether a news organization
enjoys immunity from all employment lawsuits is not an issue
limited to the context of discrimination.
Second, Rall’s petition asks this Court to resolve the
question of whether a news organization such as CNN or the
Times may cloak its decision to fire an employee as a “decision
not to publish” and thereby deprive all employees of such
organizations of access to the courts. Here too, the Times’ Answer
is without merit. The Times relies on Lafayette Morehouse, Inc. v.
Chronicle Pub. Co. (1995) 37 Cal. App. 4th 855, 860 for the
proposition that the anti-SLAPP statute was intended to benefit
a newspaper faced with defamation lawsuits. Rall agrees. But
Lafayette did not involve the employment issues presented here.
Neither the California legislature (nor the justices who authored
Lafayette) intended to provide news organizations immunity from
suit from former employees who are wrongfully fired and are
defamed.
Third, Rall raised in his petition a question of first
impression in California: whether an intervening event casting
doubt on the truth of a prior report can negate the applicability of
the “fair and true report” privilege. Here, the Times had received
a scientifically enhanced audio recording that exonerated Rall
and raised doubts about his firing. After the Times received that
recording, the applicability of the privilege is dubious. The Times

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relies on the “fair and true” privilege as though no superseding
event had taken place and as though there was no question that
its prior report about Rall was either fair or true. This Court
should grant review here to answer the question raised in “When
Truth and Accuracy Diverge: The Fair Report of a Dated
Proceeding”, 34 Stanford L. Rev. 1041 (1982).
Finally, the recitation of “facts” within the Times’ Answer
underscores a problem that permeated these proceedings in the
trial court and appellate court: no one has assumed the truth of
Rall’s evidence as required at the anti-SLAPP stage. (1-800
Contacts, Inc. v. Steinberg (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 568, 585.) For
example, the Times argues that a recording of Rall’s encounter
with the LAPD “showed glaring discrepancies” with Rall’s
account of that encounter. (Answer, p. 6.) But Rall’s declaration
and scientifically enhanced audio are perfectly consistent with
his prior accounts. And the contents of Rall’s declaration and
enhanced audio are to be assumed true and all favorable
inferences from that evidence are to be taken at this stage in the
proceedings. (1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. Steinberg, supra, 107
Cal.App.4th at p. 585.) The Times’ labels of Rall as “disgruntled,”
“petulant,” “furious,” “unhappy,” “boast[ful]” who has filed a
“retaliatory” lawsuit likewise run afoul of this rule and are
simply inappropriate.

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The calls of seven amicus organizations and Rall to provide
some protection for employees of news organizations should be
heeded. The petition should be granted.

8
LEGAL DISCUSSION
I. The Court Should Grant and Hold this Petition
Because Wilson Controls the Outcome Here
The Wilson case concerns whether the claims asserted by
the plaintiff arise from activities protected by the First
Amendment. In other words, the question presented in Wilson is
whether the first prong of the anti-SLAPP law applies to Wilson’s
claims against CNN. This Court granted review in Wilson but
deferred briefing pending the decision in Park v. Board of
Trustees (2017) 2 Cal.5th 1057 which held that:
a claim is not subject to a motion to strike simply
because it contests an action or decision that was
arrived at following speech or petitioning activity, or
that was thereafter communicated by means of
speech or petitioning activity. Rather, a claim may be
struck only if the speech or petitioning activity itself
is the wrong complained of, and not just evidence of
liability or a step leading to some different act for
which liability is asserted.

(Park, at 1060, emphasis in the original.)

The Times’ Answer claims that the first prong of the anti-
SLAPP law applies because the Times enjoys a First Amendment
right not to publish Rall’s work. (Answer, p. 19.) But this was
exactly the misapplication of the anti-SLAPP law that Park (and
presumably the forthcoming decision in Wilson) sought to rectify.
While the firing of Rall may have been preceded and followed by

9
certain actions protected by the First Amendment, neither the
firing of Rall itself nor the explanation for the firing published in
the Times was itself protected activity. And under Park, the First
Prong of the anti-SLAPP motion does not apply.

II. The Court Should Grant Review in this Case to


Resolve A Question of First Impression: the
Application of the “True and Fair” Report Privilege
to a Report of a Police Investigation that becomes
“Untrue and Unfair” once an Intervening Event
Reverses the Conclusion of the Original
Investigation
As a question of first impression, Rall’s petition asks
whether a news organization’s report which may have been true
and fair when made, can be rendered untrue and unfair based on
the revelation of additional information? May a news
organization still rely on the true and fair report privilege if an
intervening event casts doubt on the accuracy of the story? Rall
contends that the intervening event renders the true and fair
privilege inapplicable.
The Times meets this argument by claiming that Rall did
not raise this issue previously. (Answer, p. 9.) But Rall did rely
on the impact of the enhanced audio on the prior account by the
Times. (See e.g., AOB, p. 39.) This is not a new argument by Rall.

10
On the merits of this argument, Rall cited in his petition
Pierce v. San Jose Mercury News (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 1626,
1634 and Handelsman v. San Francisco Chronicle (1970) 11
Cal.App.3d 381, 386 for the proposition that it was for the jury to
hear the enhanced audio and in light of that audio assess
whether the Times’ account was “true and fair.” The Times offers
no convincing distinction of Pierce or Handelsman.
The applicable law in California is that whether or
not a privileged occasion exists is for the court to
decide, while the effect produced by the particular
words used in an article and the fairness of the
report is a question of fact for the jury (Citations).

(Handelsman v. San Francisco Chronicle, supra, 11 Cal.


App. 3d 381, 386.)

The Times’ only response to Handelsman is a drive-by


comment in a footnote that Handelsman involved an appellate
court affirming a jury verdict in favor of a newspaper. (Answer, p.
34, fn 9.) That is a distinction without significance.
In short, the trial court should not have resolved the issue
of the “True and Fair” report privilege at the anti-SLAPP stage. A
jury should determine the fairness of the Times’ report of its
investigation into Rall.

11
III. The Court Should Grant Review in this Case to
Remind Lower Courts that Plaintiffs’ Evidence is to
Be Believed True at the Anti-SLAPP Stage and all
Inferences are to be made in a Plaintiff’s Favor
A review of the Times’ Answer is like reading a closing
argument of a jury trial. The Times has spun every fact in the
Times’ favor. But this is not a closing argument. In an anti-
SLAPP motion, the evidence is to be construed in the Plaintiff’s
favor. (1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. Steinberg, supra, 107 Cal.App.4th
at p. 585.) In violation of this principle, the Court of Appeal
concluded that it did not matter what the enhanced audio shows.
(Opinion, p. 27.) But the truth does matter. Rall’s entire case
flows from the content of that enhanced audio: 1) it confirms that
a group of angry and vocal residents gathered around Officer
Durr; 2) it confirms that the angry locals shouted at the officer;
and 3) asked why Rall was being handcuffed. The crowd is heard
shouting at the officer. The officer is heard replying to the crowd.
The opinion below amounts to a proclamation that Rall should
never get his day in court and no jury should ever hear the
enhanced audio.

12
IV. The Times’ Argument as to the Amicus Letters
Should not Impact the Decision to Grant Review:
Seven First Amendment Organizations Have Raised
Widespread First Amendment Concerns
This Court’s mandate is to address issues of widespread
concern regarding important public policy issues rather than
resolving discrete claims between private parties. The issues
raised in the petition are of widespread concern as evidenced by
the submission of amicus briefs by seven First Amendment
organizations. The amicus briefs demonstrate the need for
California courts to firm up the protection of employees and to
curb news organizations’ reliance on the anti-SLAPP law to
immunize them from liability. The suggestion by the Times that
Rall is attempting to “censor” the Times (and that the amicus
parties join in Rall’s attempt at “censorship”) is not well founded.
The Times could have decided to no longer run Rall’s work but
instead chose to also publicly accuse Rall of lacking journalistic
integrity – a mortal sin in the world of reporting the news. Rall’s
lawsuit seeks to challenge the Times’ accusation that he lacks
journalistic integrity. That challenge is not censorship. It is
protection of Rall’s reputation and livelihood. Rall is not seeking
at the conclusion of this lawsuit injunctive relief that he be
reinstated or that the Times be compelled to publish his work.
The Times’ claim that Rall is censoring the Times is, therefore,

13
without merit. Equally without merit is the Times’ suggestion
that the author of one of the seven amicus briefs was misled
about Rall’s case or that said author lacked authority. The Times
has not moved to strike any of the amicus letters. Presumably, if
the Times had evidence that the letters were unauthorized, it
would make a motion to strike those briefs rather than making
an attack on the integrity of these organizations.

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CONCLUSION
Based on the foregoing, Rall respectfully requests that the
Court grant the petition.

Dated: March 28, 2019 By: ___________________________


Roger Lowenstein
Attorney for petitioner

Dated: March 28, 2019 By: ___________________________


Jeffrey Lewis
Attorney for petitioner

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CERTIFICATE OF WORD COUNT
I certify that the word count for the foregoing REPLY TO
ANSWER TO PETITION FOR REVIEW is 3,035 as counted by
Microsoft Word for Mac 2016, which was used to produce this
brief.

Dated: March 28, 2019 By: ___________________________


Jeffrey Lewis
Attorney for petitioner

16
EXHIBIT 1

17
March 1, 2019

The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Honorable Associate Justices of the


Supreme Court of California 
350 McAllister Street, Room 1295 
Association of american San Francisco, CA 94102 
editorial cartoonists

Re: Frederick Theodore Rall III v. Tribune 365, LLC, et al., Case No. TEMP-X517517Z
www.editorialcartoonists.com
editorialcartoonists@gmail.com
@AAEC_Cartoonist

Dear Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Associate Justices:

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) is a professional


association dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the political cartoon. 
The mission of the AAEC is to champion and defend editorial cartooning and free
speech as essential to liberty in the United States and throughout the world. It is
the world’s largest organization of political cartoonists.

Formed in 1957 by a small group of newspaper cartoonists, the association was


created to promote and stimulate public interest in the editorial page cartoon and
to create closer contact among political cartoonists. Over the last 60 plus years
the AAEC has grown to 250 members, both national and international and has
evolved and adapted to many changes in the news media. 

 The audience for our cartoons, and the velocity of their delivery has never been
greater.  So has the response.  Social media amplifies both the reach and reaction
to cartoons as never before. Many question what rights the cartoonist or satirist
or columnist have to state their opinions— much less be employed. Defending
OFFICERS & DIRECTORS cartoonists in these situations has become a regular aspect of the association’s
work.
President
Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer
In light of our mission, the AAEC would like to express its dismay over the
Vice President handling of Ted Rall’s case by the California court system. We urge the court to
Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press consider the downstream effects of a harsh ruling in this case.
Secretary-Treasurer
Rall is a political cartoonist. Cartoonists live and work on the cutting edge of
Monte Wolverton,
politicalcartoons.com free speech. We are disproportionately targets of ire, often for bringing up
discomforting topics and pointing out unpleasant truths, which is the very nature
Board of Directors of satire. This ire sometimes comes from the general public, but most often it
Liza Donnelly, The New Yorker comes from the targets of the cartoon commentary, and takes a variety of forms.
Ed Hall, Artizans Syndicate
Ann Cleaves, freelance
Sometimes public campaigns on social media and letters to the editor will call
Immediate Past President for cartoonists to be fired. Other times these campaigns can be a combination
Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune of things, online, PR, and even legal measures. But the point remains the same—
to intimidate and silence a critic. In this case it appears the Los Angeles Police
International Member Advisor
Patrick Chappatte, Department may well have acted to undermine and silence one of its critics in the
New York Times International largest newspaper in the state.
Page 2

It’s regrettable, and perhaps not the intention of the court, but the harsh
treatment of Rall sends a message to political cartoonists of all stripes. The
overly punitive application of the SLAPP laws in this case will financially ruin a
cartoonist and this will have a lamentable chilling effect. As a fierce defender of
Association of american First Amendment rights the AAEC sincerely hopes the court will consider what
editorial cartoonists
sort of message it’s sending. Cartoonists face many different kinds of threats and
challenges these days. We hope the California Supreme Court won’t be adding
www.editorialcartoonists.com to them.
editorialcartoonists@gmail.com
@AAEC_Cartoonist
Signed,
The officers and directors of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

cc

CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL CALIFORNIA NEWS PUBLISHERS


SECOND DISTRICT DIVISION EIGHT ASSOCIATION
Ronald Reagan State Building 2701 K. Street
300 S. Spring Street Sacramento, CA 95816
Second Floor — North Tower Nikki D. Moore, Esq.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION
DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAIN LLP 534 4th Street, Suite B
856 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2400 San Rafael, CA 94901
Los Angeles, CA 90017-2566 David E. Snyder, Esq.
Kelli L. Sager, Esq.
Dan A. Laidman, Esq. LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Rochelle L. Wilcox, Esq. 111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
OFFICERS & DIRECTORS LOS ANGELES TIMES Honorable Joseph R. Kalin
2300 East Imperial Highway Department 51
President El Segundo, CA 90245
Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer Jeffrey D. Glasser, Esq. CARTOONISTS RIGHTS NETWORK
INTERNATIONAL
Vice President JASSY VICK CAROLAN LLP Terry Anderson
Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press 800 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800 CRNI Deputy Executive Director
Los Angeles, CA 90017 Regional Representative (Northern Europe)
Secretary-Treasurer
Jean-Paul Jassy, Esq. Web: cartoonistsrights.org
Monte Wolverton,
politicalcartoons.com
Phone: +44 (0)7739139597
Wire: @terryandersoncartoons
Board of Directors
Liza Donnelly, The New Yorker
Ed Hall, Artizans Syndicate
Ann Cleaves, freelance

Immediate Past President


Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

International Member Advisor


Patrick Chappatte,
New York Times International
February 28, 2019

The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Honorable Associate Justices of the


Supreme Court of California
350 McAllister Street, Room 1295
San Francisco, CA 94102
Re: Frederick Theodore Rall III v. Tribune 365, LLC, et al., Case No. TEMP-
A non-profit, tax-exempt
X517517Z organization protecting
the First Amendment rights
Dear Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Associate Justices: of the comics community
Charles Brownstein
Executive Director
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) is a non-profit organization
Alex Cox
dedicated to defending the First Amendment rights of the comics medium and Deputy Director
the community of creators, retailers, distributors, publishers, librarians, Georgia Nelson
educators, and readers who use it. CBLDF represents more than 1,500 Development Manager
members located in California and throughout the United States. Robert Corn-Revere
Legal Counsel
_____
As expressions within the comics medium become increasingly influential in Board of Directors
American culture, CBLDF is vigilant in ensuring those works are afforded the Christina Merkler
same levels of First Amendment protection as works in other media. President
Chris Powell
Vice President
The harsh application of the SLAPP law to Mr. Rall’s case is concerning. Ted Adams
CBLDF strongly supports anti-SLAPP laws because they provide protection Treasurer
from costly lawsuits that are levied to silence critics of large enterprises. In Dale Cendali
this case, the roles have been reversed. Secretary
Ted Adams
Jennifer L. Holm
The potential downstream effects for SLAPP law to be used in the manner of
Reginald Hudlin
this case is deeply unsettling, invites a potential for abuse, and could have a
Katherine Keller
chilling effect going forward that erodes the very protections SLAPP law was Paul Levitz
enacted to give. We encourage the court to carefully consider these concerns David Steinberger
in relation to Mr. Rall’s Petition for Review. Gene Luen Yang
Advisory Board
Very Truly Yours, Neil Gaiman Denis Kitchen
Co-Chairs
Susan Alston
Greg Goldstein
Matt Groening
Chip Kidd
Jim Lee
Frenchy Lunning
Frank Miller
Charles Brownstein Louise Nemschoff
Executive Director Mike Richardson
William Schanes
Jose Villarubia
Bob Wayne
Peter Welch
_____

811 SW Naito Pkwy, Ste 100


Portland, OR 97204
1-800-99-CBLDF
971-266-8212
info@cbldf.org
CBLDF is classified as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service, and donations are tax deductible in www.cbldf.org
the year they are given. Please consult with your tax advisor to determine the full extent to which your donation is deductible.
Registered address - No. 7272, Fairfax Station, VA 22039-7272, USA

Board of Directors
Joel Pett (President)
The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye and
Carl Nelson (Treasurer)
Ritu Gairola Khanduri
Honorable Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of California
Patrick Gathara
Nikahang Kowsar 350 McAllister Street, Room 1295
John A. Lent
Cynthia Schneider San Francisco, CA 94102
Matt Wuerker

CRNI International 03/05/19


Representatives
At Large
Adéwálé Adénlé Re: Frederick Theodore Rall III v. Tribune 365, LLC, et al., Case No. TEMP-
Northern Europe X517517Z
Terry Anderson
Dear Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Associate Justices,
East Africa
Patrick Gathara
Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) is a human rights organization
South-East Asia
Muliyadi Mahamood working in defense of editorial, political and other cartoonists whose work leads to
Eastern Europe direct threats against their life, limb or livelihood. Often this involves cartoonists
Joško Marušić
from oppressive theocracies where blasphemy or mere disrespect is a matter of grave
Canada
Guy Badeaux consequence. Far more common, however, are instances where cartoonists suffer
South Central Asia abuse inflicted with the instruments of authoritarian regimes: the military or police,
Sabir Nazar

West & Southern Africa


party loyalists, unduly censorious statutes or heavy-handed legal action. In recent
Chuks Onwudinjo
years the cases we champion have been largely in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and
South America
Marlene Pohle Central & South America.

Middle East
Mohammad Saba’aneh
However, it is not unheard of to find a cartoonist in trouble in Australasia, Europe or
East Asia
Hugo Yonzon III North America, especially in an era when fewer and fewer professionals cartoonists
Oceania have the backing of a newspaper or other large media player. Even in the USA,
Cathy Wilcox
where First Amendment rights are regarded as inviolate, we have seen cartoons being
withdrawn from circulation or cartoonists dismissed due to pressure applied from the ground
up (organized displays of “offense” on social media) or top down (corporate interests or
political cronyism).

Tax ID no.54-1982242 cartoonistsrights.org


Our organization is small, but whenever possible we seek to intervene on behalf of the
cartoonist in trouble, which may mean assisting in their legal defense, relocation, or simply
making representations to the relevant authorities. This year Index on Censorship recognized
our work, nominating us for their Freedom of Expression Award in the “campaigning”
category.

The case referred to above alarms us first and foremost because of how similar certain aspects
appear to those of others we have followed in locations such as Turkey, Malaysia or
Equatorial Guinea. In each of these places a cartoonist has been the recipient of our annual
Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award after being subjected to campaigns of intimidation
and harassment from police, generally based on fabricated or exaggerated evidence.

Of course we recognize that Mr Rall’s case differs in the scale and gravity of the alleged
criminality at its heart, (neither jaywalking nor the allegedly exaggerated blog post are acts of
sedition) but the intent and effect of the ensuing events have produced alarmingly similar
results. That a freelance cartoonist could be expected to pay the legal fees of one of the
country’s largest and most powerful news outlets seems an injustice so skewed as to be
clearly intimidating to other writers and artists. That the incident involves the police could be
construed as a further warning against challenging the authorities. Those in positions of
power have seized upon an opportunity to silence a critic and serious, perhaps irreparable,
damage has been done to the career of a popular and acclaimed cartoonist.

CRNI understands the court’s solemn legal obligations. We also understand that all media
accounts, from sporting events to complex legal cases, involve some degree of subjectivity,
and that different parties will inevitably interpret the same situation in differing manners. It
is especially within those gray areas that we seek to ensure fair treatment. Mr Rall did not
misrepresent the basic fact of his arrest for jaywalking. His cartoon and blog were based upon
facts and, predictably, infused with opinion. If they were overly acerbic or emphatic in the
expression or interpretation of those facts and opinions then, to some degree, that is only what
Mr Rall was, or any editorial cartoonist is, employed to do. He is entitled to mount a rigorous
legal defense of his reputation.

In our view the role of the political cartoonist today remains unchanged; they are a societal
safety-valve, expressing dissatisfaction about political ineptitude, corporate malfeasance,
international strife, all the various injustices and irritants of the world in a fashion that is at
times blunt, even vulgar, but ultimately harmless. The cartoonist should provide the

Tax ID no.54-1982242 cartoonistsrights.org


opportunity for the reader to have a rueful chuckle about the state of affairs as they stand,
communicating an idea in a direct fashion that is consumed and processed in a matter of
seconds. It is this immediacy that gives the cartoon its sensation of impudence. To read an
essay takes time and its line of argument can be picked over. A cartoon arrives in the mind’s
eye too fast for analysis and can feel like a blow, particularly if it belittles a cow we happen
to hold sacred.

An editorial cartoon is not a bald statement of fact; it is an opinion piece. Nonetheless humor
falls flat without veracity. Thus we look to cartoonists not for nuanced analysis of any
particular policy but to reveal greater truths. It is for this reason that those in power have
cause to fear them. Like virtually no other profession, the cartoonist makes it their business to
remind the citizenry that the emperor is wearing no clothes.

We humbly ask the court to take these points into consideration as it deliberates upon the
petition for review before it.

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert Russell


Joel Pett
Executive Director, CRNI
President, CRNI

Tax ID no.54-1982242 cartoonistsrights.org


7th Floor, 292 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1AE
Tel: 0207 963 7262 www.indexoncensorship.org

The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye and


Honorable Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of California
350 McAllister Street, Room 1295
San Francisco, CA 94102

11/03/19

Re: Frederick Theodore Rall III v. Tribune 365, LLC, et al., Case No. TEMP-X517517Z

Dear Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Associate Justices,

Index on Censorship is an international freedom of expression organisation based in the United


Kingdom that publishes work by censored writers and artists and campaigns against censorship
and on behalf of those facing censorship worldwide. Index was established in 1972 and has a long
track record in covering censorship issues.

Cartoonists are often the canaries in the mine for freedom of expression, a testament to the power
of visual imagery to capture powerfully complex and controversial issues. We have seen this in the
case of Musa Kart in Turkey, of the artist known as Zunar in Malaysia, and cartoonist Bonil in
Ecuador.

Index on Censorship supports Frederick Theodore Rall’s petition for review. We support anti-
SLAPP laws because we believe they are a vital mechanism through which individuals can be
protected from deliberately ruinous lawsuits brought by the wealthy and powerful to silence them.
In the case of Ted Rall, however, the Los Angeles Times appears to be using such laws to prevent
a political cartoonist seeking to defend himself against charges that he says are defamatory.

Index on Censorship is alarmed that Mr Rall may find himself in a position where he is forced to
pay thousands of dollars in legal fees as a result of the anti-SLAPP motion. This is similar to the
way in which corporations and powerful individuals in Europe use the threat of lawsuits and
associated costs to silence their critics, and is therefore of considerable to concern.

Such threats have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and we urge the court to grant the
petition for review.

Yours sincerely,

Jodie Ginsberg
Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive: Jodie Ginsberg


Trevor Phillips (Chair), David Aaronovitch, Anthony Barling, Kiri Kankhwende, Kate Maltby, David McCune,
Sanjay Nazerali, Elaine Potter, David Schlesinger, Mark Stephens
Index on Censorship works to pursue the charitable objectives of its founding charity, the Writers & Scholars Educational Trust.
It is a UK registered charity no. 325003 VAT registration no 241 0075 16
LARRY GOLDBETTER, President
MITZI RUNYARD, Treasurer
DAVID HILL, 1" Vice President
PAMELA JoHNSON, 2"d Vice President

nati0nal MAURICIO NIEBLA, 3'd Vice President


DAN McCRORY, Recording Secretary

IttilTtilN
unt0n NATIONAL WRITERS UNION, UAW LOCAL 1981
UAW LOCAL 1S81/AFL.CIO

March 5,2019

The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court of California
350 McAllister Street, Room 1295
San Francisco, CA94102

Re: Frederick Theodore Rall lll v. Tribune 365, LLC, et a!.

Dear Chief iustice Cantil-Sakauye and Associate Justices:

The National Writers Union (United Auto Workers Local 1981, AFL-CIO) is a national labor union and
advocacy organization for freelance and contract writers in all genres, media, and formats. The NWU
works to defend the rights and improve the economic and working conditions of all writers. The NWU's
members include journalists, book authors, business and technical writers, Web site and email
newsletter content providers, bloggers, academic writers, editors, poets, playwrights, and other writers.

We have a long history of defending a free and open press and freedom of expression here and
internationally. Especially in the current climate with the media labeled, "the enemy of the people,"
from CNN reporter Jim Acosta losing his White House press credentials to the brutal murder of
Washington Post columnist Jamal Kashoggi, with reporters threatened at political rallies and trolled
online, press freedom and the public's right to know are among the most important issues facing media
workers and their unions.

To fire an award-winning editorial cartoonist with a long and prestigious career because the Chief of the
LAPD didn't like a personal blog post relating to a jaywalking arrest eight years earlier is beyond
outrageous, especially given the LAPD's own tape actually supporting Rall's claims of being handcuffed
and roughed up. Then, to apply the SLAPP law and claim that a SIOO/week editorial cartoonist was
trying to censor what at the time was a 5700 million corporation with a billionaire publisher is a total
abuse of the SLAPP law and stands reality on its head.

Political and editorial cartoonists are needed now more than ever. They are there to provoke discussion
and debate, to criticize and actually exaggerate reality in order to make a point. The use of the SLAPP

256 West 38th Street, Suite 703 o New York, NY 10018 . 2\2-254-0279 . www.nwu.org
ffi"rn'rr"
law in this manner, at this time, could have a chilling effect on the media.
That is the last thing we need
reviewing this case'
right now. we ask that the court take these points into consideration while

Sincerely,
t
't .-? //t/g--'F
./ [ t-z
ta rry Go'idbqtte r, President

)
I



Media Freedom 7 March, 2019
Foundation
Board of Directors
The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Honorable Associate Justices of the
Mickey Huff, MA Supreme Court of California
President/Director
350 McAllister Street, Room 1295
Susan Rahman, PhD San Francisco, CA 94102
Vice President Re: Rall v. Tribune 365 LLC, et al. Case No. B284566
Andy Lee Roth, PhD
Associate Director Dear Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Associate Justices:

Nicholas L. Baham
III, PhD Project Censored and its nonprofit sponsor, the Media Freedom Foundation, write to
support Mr. Frederick Theodore Rall in his anti-SLAPP case. Since 1976, the Project
MEd
Ben Boyington,
has championed a free press and free speech as fundamental pillars of democracy.
Kenn Burrows, Through our Censored book series (published annually since 1996 by Seven Stories
MPH Press), our weekly radio program (originating on the Pacifica Network and syndicated
PhD
Allison Butler, on over forty stations), and media literacy education programs on dozens of college
and university campuses, Project Censored’s network of media scholars and free
Mary Cardaras, PhD speech advocates brings critical perspectives on the state of the free press in the US

Doug Hecker to a national audience.
Nolan Higdon, EdD
Normally, we are supportive of anti-SLAPP laws and their application. However, in
Christopher Oscar the Rall case, that law has been turned on its head, used by powerful commercial
interests to quash an individual voice. It’s outrageous that the law would be used this
T.M. Scruggs, PhD
way. It harkens back to how powerful government and corporate forces interpreted
Bri Silva anti-trust laws to undermine labor unions and striking workers over a century ago.
Elaine Wellin, PhD
As champions of the First Amendment, we find the abuse of anti-SLAPP law by the
Los Angeles Times, with the support of the LAPD union, in Rall’s case—to silence
and crush an editorial voice that was critical of them—to be backwards and obscene.
Not only is this abuse of the law destructive of Rall’s career, it also sends a warning
shot across the bow of other artists, journalists, or anyone else who would critique
powerful forces in our society, including the establishment press, law enforcement, or
government agencies: Do so at your own peril. We hope after careful review of Mr.
Rall’s petition that you will do your part in remedying the injustice being done to Mr.
Rall by granting him his day in court and the right to a jury determination of his case.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Mickey Huff
President, Media Freedom Foundation
Director, Project Censored

Andy Lee Roth, Ph. D.


Associate Director, Project Censored

Media Freedom Foundation / Project Censored
P.O. Box 750940 • Petaluma, CA • 94975
707-241-4596 • www.projectcensored.org