Lambert Maintains Information Protected by First Amendment Right

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Lawyers for Chris Lambert, a freelance journalist, and creator of the podcast, “Your Own Backyard,” served objections today to provide documents as part of a subpoena citing a violation of Lambert’s constitutional privileges as a member of the media and objecting to sharing files and information he has compiled in the creation of his popular podcast.

Lambert was subpoenaed by Paul Flores’ defense attorney, who sought to keep him from covering Flores’ preliminary hearing. The subpoena 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. It appears to be an effort to silence Chris Lambert’s First Amendment rights. Lambert’s specific objections to the subpoena include:

  • As a disseminator of news, Lambert objects to being compelled to disclose unpublished information, including sources, files, and documents.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.

During the preliminary hearing, Lambert was recognized by the judge as a member of the media. 

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Lawyers for the men accused of killing Smart and hiding her body sought to bar Lambert from covering the preliminary hearing, arguing that Lambert could be called as a witness. The lawyers then served Lambert with a subpoena on Aug. 10 to serve as a witness in the hearing for Paul Flores and his father, Ruben Flores, due to his interviews with several witnesses in compiling his podcasts. 

After the subpoena, Lambert ceased to post updates on his Hallway Blog on yourownbackyardpodcast.com and deactivated the podcast’s Instagram account. 

However, following today’s press release, the podcast’s Instagram account was reactivated–and missing the majority of its original posts. 

Only Lambert’s hearing updates and two other posts are viewable. Comments are turned off for all of them.

Lambert has produced ten episodes of Your Own Backyard, one of the nation’s most popular podcasts. It has been credited with renewing interest in the case of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, who has been missing for 25 years and is believed to have been killed by Paul Flores, the last person to see her alive.