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- in Handling the Media
- by Stephen Gustitis
Brazos County criminal defense attorneys must always be prepared in advance of talking with the media, even when a client is charged with something like DWI. Simply put, defense attorneys should know ahead of time what they want (or need) to accomplish for the client before making comments to the press. The lawyer needs a good plan and outline and needs to memorize key points and stick to them. Also, the defense lawyer needs to anticipate reporter’s questions and even practice making comments before going “live” or before giving an interview with a newspaper reporter.
Another key point is always tell the truth. Even here in Brazos County, if the press ever catch defense attorneys lying, their client’s interests will suffer and the lawyer’s credibility will be damaged extending far beyond the case at hand. The lawyer wants the press to see them as forthright and honest – rather than someone willing to say anything to win their case, even at their own expense. If a lawyer cannot answer a certain question because it is privileged the lawyer should be prepared to give the reporter a brief explanation. We will continue to explore how the defense lawyer can represent their client in the press when we look at being polite and available. But again, the lesson is always be prepared with a statement before talking with a reporter. Things will go more smoothly and predictably. And criminal defense attorneys love predictable!
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.