Legal Hotline

INA members who subscribe to the Legal Hotline have access to competent, timely, low-cost advice from Hotline attorneys who have knowledge of laws affecting all phases of the newspaper business.

The Legal Hotline has been in operation since 1986 and thousands of questions have been answered by the attorneys. INA members find the Hotline to be a cost-effective method of obtaining prompt and practical legal advice on a variety of issues.

The Hotline is under direct sponsorship and control of the INA. INA collects the fees, promotes the service, decides who the attorneys should be and coordinates operation of the Hotline with the attorneys.

INA member newspapers may join the Legal Hotline at any time by calling the Hotline attorneys with their questions at 515-283-3100. Your call beings your annual subscription. Rates can be found below.

Why would we need to use the Hotline?

Your newspaper needs the Legal Hotline if you or anyone on your staff has ever had a question about legal issues ranging from open records to libel to public notice to postal regulations. Hotline attorneys generally leave editorial decisions to your newspaper’s staff.

What happens when we call a Hotline attorney?

In appropriate cases, the attorney will promptly mail the participant a brief summary of the issues raised in a specific consultation. A description of the advice will be provided. In those cases where a brief consultation with a Hotline attorney is not adequate, the participant has the option to retain the Hotline attorney for direct representation. The Hotline attorney will provide a detailed outline of probable costs of each representation. If direct representation is required, the attorney will bill the participant directly for the additional services provided.

What if we already retain an attorney?

Hotline attorneys are available to participants’ local attorneys and will provide specific legal advice on media law issues. The same service is available to your attorney if your newspaper is part of a chain or group with a local or out-of-state general counsel.

Who can ask questions?

Any employee of a participating newspaper may contact the Hotline attorneys. It is up to the newspaper to decide which employees will be authorized to contact the attorneys. The attorneys are available to participants at all times to answer questions, either by phone or letter. There is no limit to the number of consultations per year.

Can our newspaper afford to use the Hotline?

One call may repay your Legal Hotline fee for the entire year! Each newspaper pays an annual fee, based on the newspaper’s circulation, to participate in the Hotline.

Current annual rates

rates updated 1/18

Weekly papers

Circulation 0-2,000 - $275
Circulation 2,001-4,000 - $415
Circulation over 4,000 - $575

Daily papers

Circulation 0-5,000 - $575
Circulation 5,001-10,000 - $975
Circulation 10,001-20,000 - $1,500
Circulation 20,001 and up - $2,000

Discounts for groups (all under common ownership)
20% discount for second paper
30% discount for third paper