Podcaster Chris Lambert is objecting to a subpoena that would require him to provide documents related to the Kristin Smart case in the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores.
Lambert, the creator of the “Your Own Backyard” podcast, which focuses on Smart’s 1996 disappearance from the Cal Poly campus, filed the objection Monday, Aug. 23, according to court documents.
On Aug. 10, the defense attorneys for Paul and Ruben, who are both charged in connection with Smart’s death, subpoenaed Lambert.
The subpoena reportedly “demands access to Lambert’s notes, raw interview recordings, emails and text messages, a move that would expose the identities of dozens of anonymous sources, many of whom have accused Paul Flores of sexual misconduct,” according to the Smart family attorney, who adds that “it appears to be an effort to silence Chris Lambert’s First Amendment rights.”
Lambert, who now refers to himself as a freelance journalist, cites the subpoena as a violation of his constitutional privileges as a member of the media.
His specific objections are that as a disseminator of news, he objects to being compelled to disclose unpublished information including sources, files and documents. Based on the First Amendment qualified reporters’ privilege, Lambert objects to providing Paul Flores’ legal team with confidential and non-confidential information that is protected by the right of privacy under the U.S. Constitution, California law, other state laws and any other privacy right. According to a media release, Lambert was recognized as a member of the media by the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge presiding over the case.
Lambert is scheduled to be called to testify Monday morning. The objection will now be heard at that time.
The preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben began Aug. 2 and is expected to last until at least Sept. 3.
Once complete, the judge will decide whether there is enough evidence against the father and son to move the case forward to trial.
Kristin disappeared from the Cal Poly campus in 1996 and has not been seen or heard from since. While her body has never been found, she was declared legally dead in 2002.