Shield Laws, “Brodie Subpoenas,” and Case Law

Reporter shield laws vary from state to state. Some, like Maryland’s, are quite weak. Others, like Wisconsin’s, are robust. IANAL, but Wis. Stat. § 885.14 seems to make getting a “Brodie Subpoena” almost impossible in Wisconsin if the target of the subpoena is a “person who is or has been engaged in gathering, receiving, preparing, or disseminating … information to the public” and the information sought relates to a confidential source.

popcorn4bkMoreover, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that “we determine that under Wisconsin law, requiring the circuit court to decide a motion to dismiss before compelling disclosure” best addresses the balance between an anonymous speaker’s right of free speech and the rights of someone claiming to have been defamed. Lassa v. Rongstad, 2006 WI 105, 718 NW 2d 673, 687 (2006).

Since that case dealt with a subpoena seeking the identity of anonymous individuals in a defamation case, I’d guess that the possibly pending LOLsuit VI: The Undiscovered Krendler would have to survive a motion to dismiss before the Cabin Boy™ gets any discovery.

78 thoughts on “Shield Laws, “Brodie Subpoenas,” and Case Law


  1. Yes, but Maryland.

    Surely it has to count for something that the potential petitioner probably thinks that he can claim to still be an honorary resident of Maryland since he lived there so long….


  2. A friendly reminder to the readers and owner of this blog. My life is my business. I am not a public figure. You are not free to mindlessly speculate on things that lead you to erroneous conclusions, especially if those conclusions turn into defamatory posts or content. I am not shy about answering legitimate questions, and I can be reached at bschmalfeldt at twc dot com. I will respectfully remind the owner of this blog that the current post is incorrect, I don’t need to file a Brodie Motion so I don’t think that will be part of the larger picture. If your intent is to get and report accurate information. If your intent is to throw a wrench into any action I may be taking in the future, I can’t think of a better way to find yourself involved in any potential action I may be taking. Everyone enjoy your Sunday and I hope your favorite teams win today,


      • Please note that this is the same genius that couldn’t figure out that when Rueters said someone was “shot dead” it meant the guy was shot until he was an expired terrorist NOT that they shot someone who was already dead. Some GS13 level stupidity exhibited for all to see.


      • The dude is so FUGGIN’ STOOPIT.

        Since it is winter, remember to take some extra time to limber those LULZ muscles.

        They are going to be getting a major workout in upcoming weeks.


    • Rather than list all the points of error, I’ll just say Orson Welles there comes across as a very foolish person whenever attempting a tone of prissy menace.


    • Well, if Bill Schmalfeldt isn’t, “shy about answering legitimate questions,” may I suggest we ask,

      1) Were you a paid employee at breitbartunmasked, and/or an associated podcast during that timeframe? If so, who was your employer? What were your duties, etcetera?

      2) And, what actions did you take during that timeframe do wish to claim reduced culpability because they were at the direction of your, then, employer, if any?

      3) Since you recently admitted to being the author of an e-book that you previously claimed you did not write, could you please identify all content that you have published online pseudonymously. Specifically,what sockpuppets have you used at bbu, Hogewash and/or at your blogs?

      4) In open court, you offered the defense of diminished capacity. Specifically, you claimed to have an impulse control disorder. Do, you, or do you not, claim that your body of work in some cases exhibits an impulse control disorder? If so, what writings of yours reflect diminished capacity, if any?

      5) At one point you claimed Brett Kimberlin was your “most excellent friend.” At other times, you have claimed you have nothing to do with him. What’s the truth?

      I’m sure others here have other legitimate questions to ask you.


          • Oh, Roy, you are a smart feller!

            You figured out the enemy’s mission objective before the conflict even began!

            This is where you are supposed to say, per the family tradition, “Thank you, God, for blessing me with stupid adversaries.”


        • You don’t mind making declarations and demands and even semi-blog post at this site in the comments section, when you want attention paid to you.
          There’s no reasonable basis for refusing to answer where you are asked.


        • Dear John Hoge,

          Would you be so kind as to copy and paste my questions to Bill Schmalfeldt and submit them to bschmalfeldt at twc dot com? As I understand it, Bill Schmalfeldt is insisting that Tor not be used. I think he will recognize your ISP as legitimately yours, so that ought satisfy his conditions. I, on the other hand, have no interest in doxxing myself, be that his intention. If Bill Schmalfeldt does not in fact answer the question quickly, I will presume doxxing me was his intention.


          • P.S.

            If he actually replies, I wouldn’t knew it unless someone posted it here for me.


          • Alas, the Cabin Boy™ has told me not to contact him.

            So long as he stays within the terms of the Hogewash! Fine Print, he can post his answers as a reply to your comment. However, I expect that he is too cowardly to do so.


          • Why should Tor be a condition, and why should answering elsewhere be a condition? Neither is an obstacle to answering. There is no impediment to answering. And he has used this place to make his own case frequently.


          • Dear Bill Schmalfeldt,

            Would you please grant John Hoge a one-time exception to your no-contact request so that he can post my questions at your blog?


          • BSB,

            I don’t think BS wants them posted to any blog. I read that as him wanting them sent via e-mail for him ostensibly to reply via e-mail.


        • Dear Bill Schmalfeldt,

          Just because you have opted to move your human freak show to Hogewash to the betterment of the blog’s Alexa rating, doesn’t mean I want to help you generate traffic for your nano-blog. I simply don’t read your blogs. Others here do. Occasionally, they’ll post a web archive link if something is of interest to the folks here.

          Bill, I’m sure there are many other readers here that like me view Hogewash but not any of your nano-blogs. Given that fact, and the microscope traffic at your blog, answering my questions here will grant you a much greater audience, and, a much greater opportunity “to correct the record,” if that is possible.

          Personally, I believe your efforts at “coming clean” about using a pseudonym only occur after you have been proven to have lied definitively. Then, acknowledging the obvious is more damage control than anything else. It has been widely reported here that “Mark in Maryland” is in fact “Bill in Wisconsin.” No one here doubts that fact. Acknowledging that obvious fact would actually grant you a scintilla of the respect you are so eager to be shown. without any significant loss. I’m fairly confident you will persist in denying that you are “Mark in Maryland.”


    • “My life is my business. I am not a public figure. You are not free to mindlessly speculate on things that lead you to erroneous conclusions, especially if those conclusions turn into defamatory posts or content.”

      This, from a guy who has… how many restraining orders exactly?

      You really do get off being mocked, don’t you?


      • Not a public figure? Let’s see. An author of multiple blogs and books, a producer of multiple radio shows, a participant in multiple court cases, a publisher of sealed court papers, and a recipient of multiple places orders in multiple states is not a public figure.

        Be sure to make that asservation in the next LOLsuit.


        • Why, it seems like it was only Saturday that he was telling us that he involved himself in the death of a child because of JOURNALISM, which doesn’t strike me as a “private citizen” undertaking.

          *hic*


  3. With all his oversharing, I’m surprised that until this point Bill’s affair with Hell’s Kitchen Kate was not exposed.

    How is it that Bill spent 27 years with his beloved soulmate but was also dipping it in Hell’s Kitchen in 2003? Simple. His beloved soulmate had had enough of him (can you blame her?) and threw his ass out. After that occurred, the troll hooked up with HKK. However, life being complicated and all, St. Gail realized that with her disability, she needed the Cabin Boy – as a meal ticket and for a roof over her head, not because she adored him so. In the meantime, HKK realized that the troll was a narcissist of the worst order and kicked him to the curb.

    Need on St. Gail’s part, and being kicked to the curb on Cabin Boy’s part, is what brought our boy and his beloved back together.


    • I don’t know about all of these allegations, but BS has admitted that he and his late wife split up for a while in the 2002-2003 time frame. I simply cannot imagine any woman having an affair with him, particularly given his appearance at that time. I also find it odd that the health need in your story is so one-sided, given that he had already been diagnosed with PD.

      Nope, not buying it.


      • Don’t really care if you buy it. His beloved was diagnosed with scleroderma, a serious autoimmune disorder, as the over-sharer has also admitted.


        • Who knows what her real condition was. He is a terrible miscontruer when he isn’t actively lying. I also am very skeptical that he was ever able to draw anything but imaginary affections from anyone purporting to be female.
          Anyway, he’s a user so your story has that going for it which is nice. AFAIK Gail never stopped working until the end, or taking care of his useless self until she was on her own death’s door.


    • HKK – I’m not sure any of this really matters. And I doubt any of his past and current harassment victims will view this as material to their complaints. Bill is threatening legal action against several people today, so any information or advice regarding that suit would be wonderful conversation topics. But this is only my .02


      • I didn’t say it mattered, nor did I say it was material to any complaints. I merely said I was surprised it hadn’t been addressed up to this time, what with all of his over-sharing. For crying out loud, the man admitted to having sex on stage.

        Does every comment on a thread have to be helpful? There are plenty on here that are silly, disparaging to the troll, or worse. Shall we condemn those conversation topics?

        My $0.02 spent. Back to lurking.


        • You’re absolutely right that our commentary doesn’t need to matter. Most of mine are just horsing around, making fun of an idiot, not because he’s an idiot, but because he’s such a willfully malevolent idiot. The reason you got some pushback is most likely because what you said doesn’t look like a joke, and isn’t one of the many stupid things that Schmally has admittedcrowed about doing. Out of the blue, as it were.

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