Judge rules in favor of ‘In Your Own Backyard’ podcaster

September 9, 2021

Chris Lambert


A San Luis Obispo County judge ruled Wednesday that “Your Own Backyard” podcaster Chris Lambert won’t have to testify or provide records during the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores.

Flores’ defense attorney had subpoenaed Lambert, whose podcasts renewed interest in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart, to testify. Robert Sanger also sought records of Chris Lambert’s correspondence with law enforcement, all records related to the court case, and all records related to his investigation into the disappearance of Smart and the Flores family.

Lambert’s attorney Diana Palacios told the court that California’s shield law protects Lambert from having to provide unpublished notes and materials from his reporting.

California courts are required to conduct a balancing test, weigh the needs of a criminal defendant for the journalists notes and material and then determine if the information can be obtained from sources other than the journalist.

Palacios argued the defense had not shown they couldn’t get the information Lambert could supply from other sources.

Judge Craig van Rooyen then ruled in favor of Palacios’ motion to quash Sanger’s subpoena.

Testimony is set to resume on Thursday.

Flores is accused of murdering Smart, a student at Cal Poly, in 1996 following a party they both attended in San Luis Obispo. Flores’ father Ruben Flores is charged as an accessory after the fact. He is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body.


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Jorge Estrada

In July of 1996, Sheriff’s Detective, Henry Stewart said, “We have him, just need the corroborating evidence”. So here we are today with renewed luck and I guess a thanks to Chris Lambert, who would not return my calls when I tried to reach him last year. I do not know who’s playing who, just seem like nothing has changed since July of 1996? One can only pray for closure.


Mr Estrada

Why does Mr Lambert need to return your calls?

Everything has changed since Mr Lambert did his own sleuthing and beating the bushes for concrete investigative information to bring this case to trial. What have you contributed other than Monday morning arm chair quarterbacking on CCNs comments?


Were you reaching out to him because you had relevant information for his investigation? If not, then it’s no surprise he didn’t return your calls. He is a private citizen who took on this investigation by his own initiative and has no obligation (nor probably the time) to respond to every fan boy that reaches out.

Jorge Estrada

Just an honest comment and answering machines are for requesting for a returned calls and I can only guess that he was hot on the trail and need not hear what I had to say.