The legal system and media

July 29, 2008
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From Indiana Lawyer reporter Michael Hoskins, who is in Reno attending a conference at the National Judicial College:

Courts and media can sometimes collide, but there’s a plethora of reasons for both to get along. This is the topic of a two-day conference Monday and Tuesday at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev. Indiana Lawyer is there, one of about 30 newspapers and television stations from across the nation invited to improve how we work together and complement each other’s roles.

The first day was mostly a court structure and legal system 101. The conference offered an array of intriguing thoughts such as how the First and Sixth Amendments are priorities but can often pose conflicting objectives for both judges and reporters who must balance free press and fair trials. These constitutional concerns can be convoluted by court and state legislative rules, and made more difficult by ethical considerations. Ultimately this all impacts how the public perceives what is happening in the legal system.

Today’s topics included: legal sources galore – separating information from spin and what ethical issues are involved; handling high-profile trials from both the legal and media perspectives; and the notion of pre-publication review by counsel.

We’ll have more about this in our Aug. 6 issue of Indiana Lawyer, but we’d love to hear your thoughts about how you work with media and what issues arise.
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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