Appellate Division Confirms Reorg Research Journalists Have Benefit of Shield Law

You may have heard about an important case between Reorg Research and Murray Energy. The case was a potential landmark for journalists and media organizations in New York and beyond. We fought like hell to protect what we knew was right.

Today, we won. 

Here is a link to the opinion: Reorg Murray Decision.

In a unanimous 5-0 decision, the First Department Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court ruled that Reorg Research’s editorial team is protected by New York’s Shield Law from being compelled to disclose the identities of its confidential sources.

The court held that “because it is a ‘professional medium or agency which has as one of its main functions the dissemination of news to the public,’” Reorg has the benefit of the shield law and is exempt from having to comply with Murray Energy’s request that it reveal its sources.

The decision arose from a “pre-action disclosure petition” that Murray Energy filed with the New York Supreme Court in September after Reorg Research published two stories that reported Murray’s financial results and an agreement between the company and one of its labor unions.

The court noted that while Reorg has a “relatively limited subscriber base” that pays “relatively high” subscription fees and agrees to limited restrictions on further dissemination of its stories, these features are “not uncommon” in today’s media landscape and that the result of ruling in Murray’s favor “is not broader coverage but no coverage at all.”

In a coda likely to resonate far beyond the distressed debt community, the court ended its opinion by noting that “[e]xtending protection to [Reorg] under the Shield Law is consistent with New York’s ‘long tradition...of providing the utmost protection of freedom of the press’” and “[t]o condition coverage on a fact-intensive inquiry analyzing a publication’s number of subscribers, subscription fees, and the extent to which it allows further dissemination of information is unworkable and would create substantial prospective uncertainty, leading to a potential “chilling” effect.”

I want to thank our amazing team at Davis Wright Tremaine, the amici, our general counsel Jude Gorman and finally, the amazing team of journalists and contributors at Reorg who day in and day out, provide the world's most comprehensive and in-depth coverage of the high yield and distressed debt market.




A Better Way to Read SEC Filings on Reorg Research

One thing that we constantly try to do at Reorg Research is look at how the buy side, bankers, traders and lawyers are consuming source information through other channels, platforms and mediums and improve upon those functionalities. We started in 2013 doing this around legal and bankruptcy filings. We now do it across a wide variety of data sets. For instance, this week we released a new and improved way for our subscribers to access SEC filings on Reorg:

You can access any SEC filing on Reorg Research and get instant alerts on any company out there (distressed or not distressed). You can run a full text search across all our data sets to find the information you need faster.

If you are a subscriber, you can access the SEC Filings portal here: SEC Filings on Reorg Research. If you aren't a subscriber and want to learn more, you can request a trial for the product here: Reorg Research Trial Request



Official Launch of Reorg Covenants

As many of you know, last year we rolled out a beta of Reorg Covenants. We saw a void in the market for a product that combined subject matter expertise around complex capital structures, whether it be a high yield or investment grade credits, along with innovative technologies that would make the analysis of indentures, credit agreements and other debt documents more efficient, effective and intuitive.  

After amazing feedback from our beta participants, I believe we have built the best product on the market so market participants and their advisers can better know and understand the inherent risks and pitfalls of a particular credit or debt instrument. Names (and links to some our recent coverage) include: 
If you are interested in trying out the product, please fill out the trial request form here: Reorg Covenants Trial Request

In addition, here is a press release with the official announcement: Reorg Covenants Press Release

As always, if you have any questions on the product or Reorg in general, feel free to reach out.



Join Reorg Research at the 13th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference

As in years past, Reorg Research will be acting as a Media Sponsor at this year’s Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference, which will take place at New York City’s Plaza Hotel on Friday, February 24.

The schedule is jam-packed with exciting restructuring panels, case study presentations and keynote speaker discussions including appearances from James G. Dinan, Founder, Chairman and CEO of York Capital Management and Glenn R. August, Founder and CEO of Oak Hill Advisors. Lastly, we can expect a final keynote interview of the day between Millstein & Co.’s Jim Millstein and Former Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro GarcĂ­a Padilla.

We hope to see you at the 13th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference. Please use Reorg’s discount code “WRDIC2017MEDIA” to receive 15% off your registration fee.



hunter [at] distressed-debt-investing [dot] com

About Me

I have spent the majority of my career as a value investor. For the past 8 years, I have worked on the buy side as a distressed debt and high yield investor.