Legal Hotline

Here in our Legal section, you will find a variety of useful tools as well as updates to current legal and legislative activities both in-state and nationwide. You will find the MBA’s Legal Guide, as prepared by Attorney William J. Murray, a link to listings of all pending FCC filings of which the MBA has signed onto Joint Comments or Joint Reply Comments, and legal hotline information.

Legal Guide

The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association Broadcasters’ Legal Guide, a comprehensive booklet of legal information that provides valuable knowledge about many issues of concern to broadcasters including sections on advertising, libel, invasion of privacy, copyright, public records, employment, Internet issues, and more. Click here to download the MBA Legal Guide.

Legal Resources

Pillsbury Law Tobacco Advertising Q&A

Pillsbury Law Political Broadcasting Advisory

Legal Hotline Information

The MBA is happy to provide its members with the following in-state and Washington, D.C. hotline numbers. If you have a general business-related question, or a broadcast-specific question, just pick up the phone and call the most appropriate legal hotline. The only thing you pay for is the phone call – the information you receive from the attorney is free of charge!

Areas of Council

In-State Hotline
– Advertising law and regulations
– Employer/employee law and regulations
– Prior restraint
– State taxes
– Libel, defamation and invasion of privacy

Attorney William J. Murray
Phone: 413.736.1852
Fax: 413.736.4602

Washington Hotline
– Annual Filings
– Contests/promotions
– FCC Regulations
– Political time issues

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Scott Flick
Phone: 202.663.8167
Web Site:

MBA members have reliable, readily accessible and prompt legal counsel literally at their fingertips. For questions and issues relating to Massachusetts law, the MBA has retained Attorney William J. Murray in Boston to man an in-state legal hotline for MBA members. For FCC licensing or communications-related concerns, the law firm of Shaw Pittman has been retained to man a Washington, DC legal hotline for MBA members.

Members are invited to use this free service. Members can have their questions answered by an attorney, so long as the questions can be answered without independent research or investigation.

scott-flickScott Flick works in the areas of mass media and new communications technologies. He represents broadcast stations and networks before federal regulatory agencies and provides counsel on regulatory, business, policy, and technological issues. His practice addresses issues regarding program distribution, cable and satellite television, program rights, and other related intellectual property issues.


The Legal Hotline is provided as a benefit at NO COST to all MBA members. A member is entitled to a reasonable number of telephone consultations, concerning any of the variety of subjects covered by the Hotline.

While the Legal Hotline is intended to include a wide range of legal issues that affect broadcasters, it is not intended to respond to all of a broadcaster’s legal needs.

A consultation will be provided with respect to issues that can be addressed without the need for extensive investigation or research and it is anticipated that the majority of questions can be disposed of in this manner. All consultations between the law firm and individual stations are confidential.

In those cases where a brief consultation is not sufficient, the broadcaster has the option to retain the attorney for direct representation. This will not occur without express instructions from the station. A separate fee agreement will be decided upon by the broadcaster and the law firm, and the MBA will not have any responsibility for those fees.


The Legal Hotline is administered and paid for by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association. The lawyer-client relationship, however, is between the broadcaster and the law firm which provides the service and the MBA has no liability for actions taken by attorneys providing the service.

Legal advice will not be provided in disputes between MBA members, or in matters which would create a professional conflict of interest.

Utilization of the MBA Legal Hotline signifies acceptance of the terms of the program as outlined in this document.