Steptoe & Johnson LLP partner David Bodney and associate Chris Moeser have received a 2013 Freedom of Information (FOI) Award from the Arizona Newspapers Association, consisting of 120-member newspapers throughout the state. Messrs. Bodney and Moeser were recognized at a reception held September 14 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix.
The winners of the FOI Awards are selected by the board of directors of the Arizona Newspapers Association and the Associated Press Media Editors. The awards tell the story of how public information from government sources is used for the benefit of Arizona citizens.
Messrs. Bodney and Moeser were recognized for their work on behalf of KPNX Broadcasting Co., the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, on an investigative report called “Watching Tony Die.” Through the lawsuit, Steptoe secured access to a videotape of prison guards who stood and watched an inmate bleed to death rather than render aid. Steptoe also secured a $26,317.40 payment from the Arizona Department of Corrections to cover the station’s attorneys’ fees. Messrs. Bodney and Moeser were nominated by the station’s news director to receive the award, along with the reporters Wendy Halloran and Mark Philips, and photojournalist Jeff Blackburn, who won the award for their newsgathering and reporting efforts.
Mr. Bodney, who has practiced media and constitutional law for more than 30 years, is chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, the country’s premiere legal organization dedicated to the advancement of education in communications law. He serves as adjunct faculty at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Mr. Moeser, who also practices media and constitutional law, received his law degree from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining Steptoe, he worked as a criminal justice, general assignment and political reporter for The Phoenix Gazette and The Arizona Republic.