CBS, Inc. v. Davis

510 U.S. 1315 (1994)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

CBS, Inc. v. Davis

United States Supreme Court
510 U.S. 1315 (1994)

Facts

CBS, Inc., and related media organizations (collectively, CBS) (defendants) were conducting an ongoing investigation into the sanitation practices at meatpacking plants. In cooperation with CBS, an employee of Federal Beef Processors, Inc. (Federal) (plaintiff) voluntarily agreed to wear concealed camera equipment during his shift one day inside Federal’s plant. Subsequently, CBS obtained the video footage of Federal’s meatpacking operations, which CBS intended to broadcast without revealing Federal as the source of the material, but rather, to show industry practices. Federal sued CBS to stop the broadcast, alleging claims of trespass and violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. A South Dakota circuit court entered a temporary restraining order, precluding the broadcast of any footage of the interior of Federal’s plant. The court found that disclosure could result in a refusal to purchase Federal’s beef, causing significant economic harm to Federal, and dissemination of Federal’s confidential processes. Although the court found no evidence of criminal activity, the court indicated that the videotape was obtained through CBS’s “calculated misdeeds.” The state’s appellate court denied CBS’s request for a stay of the injunction. CBS sought writ relief from the United States Supreme Court based on a claimed violation of the First Amendment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 735,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership