Extrajudicial Statements: Lawyers' Ethical Obligations in Communicating with the Press



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Extrajudicial Statements: Lawyers' Ethical Obligations in Communicating with the Press
(c) 2007 Debra S. Katz, Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP. All Rights Reserved.
By Debra S. Katz n1
In an era when attorneys have broad access to the media and the public has a seemingly insatiable appetite for information about high profile legal cases and cutting edge legal issues, an attorney's familiarity with the professional obligations of communicating with the press has become increasingly important. n1 The following chapter addresses some of the obligations that constrain attorneys in their communications with the press. n2
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n1 For an interesting examination of competing views regarding the propriety and desirability of extrajudicial advocacy, see Jonathan M. Moses, Legal Spin Control: Ethics and Advocacy in the Court of Public Opinion, 95 Colum. L. Rev. 1811 (1995).

n2 This chapter focuses on the issue of extrajudicial statements made by an attorney representing a party. Attorneys have a different set of ethical obligations when serving as commentators for the media on cases on which they are not personally involved. For a discussion of this issue see, Erwin Chemerinsky and Laurie Levenson, People v. Simpson: Perspectives on the Implications for the Criminal Justice System: The Ethics of Being a Commentator, 69 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1303 (1996).

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