Media Coverage in Criminal Justice Cases: What Prosecutors and Defenders Should and Should Not Say
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Media Coverage in Criminal Justice Cases: What Prosecutors and Defenders Should and Should Not Say

Media Coverage in Criminal Justice Cases: What Prosecutors and Defenders Should and Should Not Say
Product Code: 5090141
About the Editor: Andrew E. Taslitz
Publication Date: August 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62722-151-1
Page Count: 308
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Sponsoring Entities: Criminal Justice Section
Topics: Courts, Criminal Law, Law Practice Management
Format: Book - 5090141
Pricing: $129.95 (Regular)
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$99.95 (Criminal Justice Section) ABA Members, Log in now to receive this discount!
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About Media Coverage in Criminal Justice Cases: What Prosecutors and Defenders Should and Should Not Say

The media plays a role in many major criminal cases. From Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox to Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant, media coverage extends not just to salacious tales of child abuse, rape, and murder but to white collar crimes, proven and merely alleged, particularly in light of the Great Recession that began in 2008.

But lawyers need not represent the rich and powerful to find themselves with a microphone in their faces. This comprehensive book addresses the major media issues facing criminal lawyers. The first two chapters deal primarily with strategy and tactics. Well-known criminal defense lawyer Kendall Coffey, in the books opening chapter, he fuses personal experience with precise, concrete guidelines for handling the media. He discusses such leading cases as those involving Casey Anthony and Dominique Strauss-Kahn and outlines a law-media toolbox of instruments necessary to repair media-inflicted damage and build a media-savvy case.

Chapter two is written by James Haggerty, who discusses the advantages of hiring a media consultant, the kinds of cases that require it, and the sorts of tasks that a consultant can complete. He also explains the proper respective roles of the lawyer, consultant, and client, and he offers hints and cautions to help in selecting the right consultant for the job.

Chapter three, written by two of the leading lights in the field of professional responsibility--Peter Joy and Kevin McMunigal, outlines in a very practical, detailed fashion the many ethical constraints on lawyer communications with the media. The chapter broadly discusses the risks and benefits of media communication and also addresses highly-specific questions such as what to say about concessions, confessions, false exculpatory statements, and more.

Chapter four, written by First Amendment specialist Bryan Adamson, focuses on constitutional, primarily freedom of speech, limitations on efforts of courts, prosecutors, police, and even sometimes defense attorneys to limit media access to cases or individuals and clients access to the press. He explains the limits on using gag orders, safe harbors, and Son-of-Sam provisions prohibiting defendants financially benefitting from their notoriety.

Chapter five is written by Professor Neil Vidmar who explains how such social science can be used in court, including via media-coverage content analyses, case-specific polls and surveys to gauge community bias, and a variety of techniques for demonstrating community attitudes as influenced by more general media effects on the jury pool, such as perceptions about racial, religious, and ethnic groups.

Chapter six, by Loyola-Los Angeles law professor, Laurie Levenson gives hints and ethical guidelines for lawyers acting as media commentators for cases in the press. Also included is practical advice on how to become a commentator, how to obtain the information needed to comment wisely, when to avoid commentary entirely, how to frame an interview, how to speak in sound bites, what to wear, what (if anything) to get paid, and how to deal with other commentators.

This practical guide, written by experts, will be an invaluable resource to practicing lawyers, judges, legislators, ethics regulators, academics, students, and the general public on the impact of media coverage on citizens attitudes toward criminal defendants, victims, and prosecutors.