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L ETTER F ROM

THE

D IRECTOR

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32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 6 Side A

his edition of the Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal has a little something for everyone. Our cover article by John G. Browning outlines the remarkable shifts in the legal landscape which have, in certain jurisdictions and upon certain circumstances, allowed service of process via social media. Mr. Browning is a partner in the DalODVRI¿FHRI/HZLV%ULVERLV%LVJDDUG 6PLWK//3 Next, we bring you a piece, primarily aimed at judges, encouraging communication between the judiciary and the press. But before you read the article, I wanted to share two personal observations from working directly with judges over the past 25 months. First, many judges mistrust journalists not based on any broad set of objective experiences but because of a single negative experience with a reporter. And second, many judges believe they are barred by the judicial cannons of ethics from talking to the press. Both are regrettable. But I hope this edition’s article by Judge Brian MacKenzie, of the 52nd District Court in Novi, Michigan, will encourage some re-thinking. Judge MacKenzie’s piece lays out in great detail the argument that not only do the rules allow communication with the press, but one might argue that the rules actually encourage judges to educate and aid professional working journalists on matters that will assist in the accurate communication of news to the public. (He of course does not say judges can or should discuss the details of pending litigation). Additionally, I’ve learned from working with Judge MacKenzie at two recent conferences, that anecdotal feedback from judges suggests something even more interesting and exciting. It is this: Judges who engage and educate reporters directly and openly have better press relationships and therefore get more accurate (and arguably positive) stories, even if such communication creates initial discomfort or uncertainty. )LQDOO\ZHKDYHWZRDGGLWLRQDO¿QHSLHFHVE\'U0LFKDHO70DUWLQH] an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Judge Chuck Weller, a judge with the family division of the second judicial disWULFWFRXUWRIWKHVWDWHRI1HYDGD3URIHVVRU0DUWLQH]œSLHFHTXDQWL¿HVDQG analyzes the prevalence of cameras in the courtroom. Judge Weller puts forth a guide for journalists who report on family and juvenile cases.

BEN HOLDEN

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Profile for The National Judicial College

Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal, Spring 2012  

This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.

Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal, Spring 2012  

This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.

Profile for njcmag
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