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MEDIA LAW a business owner who was defamed by a local television news broadcast was awarded $10 million by a Virginia jury on May 23. Jesse Sheckler, 50, sued the Virginia Broadcasting Corp., which owns WVIR, after the Charlottesville, Va.-based station incorrectly broadcast that the police found large amounts of drugs at his home and business. At the time, Sheckler was charged with financing a drug deal; he was later acquitted. Virginia Broadcasting contended that the information it broadcast came from a reliable source, a U.S. attorney. However, the U.S. attorney denied providing such information. The defense also argued that Sheckler’s depression and stress could be attributed to other factors and were not necessarily caused by the broadcast. Sheckler v. Virginia Broadcasting Corp., No. CL 02-60 (Charlottesville city, Va., Cir. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Matthew B. Murray, Richmond and Fishburne, Charlottesville, Va. DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thomas E. Albro, Tremblay and Smith, Charlottesville

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