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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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