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- in Handling the Media
- by Stephen Gustitis
Bryan-College Station criminal defense attorneys can learn something from top riders in the professional cycling peloton who know how to work with the press. After 5-6 hours in the saddle, with the likes of Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, and Levi Leipheimer ripping your legs off in the mountains, it would be easy to ignore the press when they are looking for interviews and insight into the dynamic of the peloton that day. But riders like Leipheimer and Chris Horner can make friends by being available and being polite when dealing with media reporters. The defense lawyer should always strive to develop good working relationships with reporters in the media. The criminal defense attorney, even here in Brazos County, should treat reporters the way they would want to be treated and develop empathy for the reporter and the pressures under which they work. Reporters are constantly dealing with deadlines and resent people they believe are wasting their time.
The effective defender dealing with the media always thanks the reporter for covering their case and remains available for comment. Criminal defense attorneys should be reachable and always return a reporter’s call or e-mail promptly. The defense lawyer need always keep their word and get back to a reporter if they promise to do so. Finally, the lawyer should be generous with their time. Spending the time necessary to help the reporter truly understand the case and legal issues pays great dividends. Reporters are naturally curious and are appreciative of lawyers who take a personal interest in them getting the story right. Helping the reporter understand the legal issues and they will often find a way to return the favor. Over time, the top professional riders in the peloton who work generously with the media are rewarded with time in the spotlight. Quality time in front of the camera can only enhance one’s professional image and popularity with fans. Bryan|College Station criminal defense lawyers can also be rewarded when they are available for the press. Often a client’s case is perceived more favorably in the media when the lawyer takes time to know the facts, get prepared, and remain available for comment with the press.
Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-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.