Chalk one up for a newspaper’s First Amendment rights.

Orange Circuit Judge George A. Sprinkel IV sees nothing wrong with the Orlando Sentinel trying to interview individual members of a six-member jury that convicted Walt Disney World of stealing plans from another developer to build its existing Wide World of Sports Attraction.

The court had restricted the newspaper from contacting jurors after they brought in a guilty verdict and total damages of $240 million against Disney on Aug. 11. The Sentinel appealed the gag order, arguing it violated the newspaper’s First Amendment Rights.

The plaintiff is All Pro Sports Camp Inc. formed in Tampa, FL in 1987, the year the company’s principals maintain they first contacted Disney on the 30-sports amphitheater idea.

The case drew instant public attention when the plaintiff hired criminal defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran of Los Angeles and Willie Gary, a prominent Stuart, FL civil attorney who has won multimillion-dollar verdicts for clients.

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