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- in Handling the Media
- by Stephen Gustitis
The effective Bryan-College Station criminal defense attorney must always consider how media coverage might affect their client’s interests during the litigation process. Media reporters can be an important tool and ally if used correctly. Consequently, to use the media to his advantage the defense lawyer must understand how it works. Important use of the press can often assist the criminal lawyer in the following ways.
First, press coverage can help an investigator do a better job investigating. In other words, the press can alert possible witnesses or other helpful sources to the fact you are seeking information. As a result, reporters can obtain the names of persons with helpful information who are not associated with the police and who might be willing to assist in the defense investigation.
A second important use of the media is to counter negative publicity coming from law enforcement sources. The criminal defense lawyer wants a balanced treatment of their client’s case in the press. If the other side is mounting a media campaign against their client, the responsible defense lawyer has a duty to respond to the attack. This helps maintain an important balance in the public’s eye.
In subsequent posts we’ll explore the areas in which the criminal defense lawyer can comment in the press. Further, we will explore how the Bryan-College Station criminal defense attorney can prepare to make the best use of the media to zealously represent their client. Visit my Criminal Defense Blog for other posts about handling the media and trial advocacy.
Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.