Friday, September 28, 2007

Responsibilities of Defense Counsel Panel

This is a high-powered panel: Laurie Levenson, Michael Tigar, and Harold Haddon.

Levenson: overview of rules for defense counsel
ABA Model Rule 3.6--dates from Gentile case--no statements that lawyer believed likely to materially prejudice proceedings; or to be inadmissable in court

safety zones for comments:
--explaining the presumption of innocence
--request assistance in obtaining evidence
--information contained in public record, w/o further comment (load up motions); used very effectively in lacrosse case
--scheduling information

"tit for tat" rule--defense attorneys can respond to substantial undue effect of recent publicity not initiated by client

very difficult for court to limit public access to information

will there eventually be recognized access to cameras in courtroom?

should there be a legal code regarding legal commentators?

Tigar: media has played very significant role, throughout American history, in ensuring the innocence of factually innocent people

need to think about remedy of judges taking more of a role to rebut out-of-control prosecutors

right of media to report and opine powerful (though also dangerous)

lawyers who play soundbite journalism inevitably lose--though sometimes have to develop relationship with media

Haddon: speaking to media is very risky for attorneys

at same time: in high-profile cases, 1st impressions are indelible

never able to reverse negative impression in Ramsay case after police dept's early leaks

pressure on defense attorneys to stand up quickly; yet can be extremely risky for def. attorneys to do so

Evans statement in lacrosse case "was brilliant . . . had a real significant effect on public opinion of him and of the case"

Levenson: misperception that all defense lawyers have to have same strategy
images & not that lawyers say is critical

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"should there be a legal code regarding legal commentators?"

Absolutely. It's reprehensible that Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy and Georgia Goslee and their ilk are allowed to just go on TV and spew innuendo and falsehoods straight from their imagination about cases that have yet to be tried.

Ralph Phelan said...

While Grace, Murphy et al. have a right to spout BS, I believe the Bar has a right, a public duty, and a legitimate institutional self-interest to publicly censure them and possibly even disbar them if they say things that are false and reflect poorly on their profession.

Anonymous said...

It is reprehensible for anyone to spew innuendo and falsehoods about cases that have not been charged or tried. That includes bloggers.

no justice, no peace said...

"Fantastic lies"...yet we still have panelists at this conference referring to the lying whore as a "victim".

Hats off to those that corrected the speaker and to Evans for his acute use of language.

no justice, no peace said...

Excuse me A PANELIST vs. panelists...correcting my 6:40 note.

I doubt any others in the room are as dense at the one who continues to call CGM a victim.

Absolutely stunning...really.

The shelf life on this hoax appears to be forever.

kbp said...

Thanks KC!

Goodenow: media and public have right to access to the courts--not to everything dealing with case

I hope she's not wanting to make public information secret.

I've seen information released after cases have been closed that would have been nice to have had before it closed. Imagine where the Duke case would have gone if nothing had been shared in the motions (that the defense did so well at including in them!).

I'd like to see the sun shine more on every case.

Debrah said...

Evans statement in lacrosse case "was brilliant . . . had a real significant effect on public opinion of him and of the case"

It certainly was...and it also showed the public that these men were not derelicts.

David was strong and direct as he told the public that these were "fantastic lies" that would unravel with time.

Anonymous said...

"It is reprehensible for anyone to spew innuendo and falsehoods about cases that have not been charged or tried. That includes bloggers."

True, but I don't think anyone is imbued with a special aura of authority and knowingness just because they're posting on a blog. Whereas it's depressingly likely that some people listened to Nancy Grace saying "they don't want to take a lie detector test because they're afraid they won't pass a lie detector test" and thought "Well, Nancy wouldn't tell us that they didn't want to take a lie detector test unless she knew that they tried to avoid one."