A subpoena against a local contributing reporter may be dropped.
In August, a private attorney representing the S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson subpoenaed Observer contributor Sue Summer for all her notes, emails, audio recordings and any other information she had collected in her ongoing coverage of the late James Brown estate lawsuits.
The singer died in December of 2006 and more than a dozen people have filed for a piece of his estate.
Summer began coverage of the story after the case started being heard and actions filed in the Newberry County Courthouse. The case has also included several local attorneys.
Since she began covering the case as a freelance reporter, Summer has filed over 40 stories about it in The Observer.
Wilson has reportedly asked the attorney who filed the action against Summer to cancel the subpoena.
Summer had planned to fight the subpoena under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. She believes reporters should be protected by the shield law from revealing their sources in court and from having to turn over unpublished information.
Having worked as a staff member of The Observer, Summer says she at one time lobbied for freedom of information laws in the state and she was ready to continue her fight.
She says if the subpoena was upheld that it would be a disservice to every reporter in the state.