Top court questions attorney for Jana Winter

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Jana Winter. (Jimmy Vielkind)
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ALBANY—The judges of New York's top court grilled an attorney for Jana Winter, a Fox News reporter who is attempting to use the state's reporter shield law to prevent her from answering a Colorado subpoena related to the Aurora theater shooting.

Winter's lawyers argued that the intent of New York's shield law was broad, and should extend to cases involving news gathering by its citizens beyond its borders.

"You don't become the global leader of news when you confine your protections to the metro desk," said Christopher Handman, Winter's lawyer.

Winter reported that James Holmes, who is accused of carrying out the mass shooting in the Aurora, Colo, movie theater, had submitted a diary to a mental health professional, and Holmes' lawyers have been attempting to compel Winter to give up the name of her source for that information.

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But in court today, Daniel Arshack, a lawyer for Holmes, argued mostly that the protection Handman is asking for is too broad, and could improperly be extended into other areas.

Some judges asked questions that indicated they were sympathetic to Arshack's case.

"You want us to say a journalist who conducted a Colorado interview in Colorado would not be subject to a Colorado court?" said Judge Robert Smith (who is as it happens the father of BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith).