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Extrajudicial Speech

A media management system begins with a designated liaison, such as a judge or court administrator, who has the task of speaking for the court.158 Members of the media should be provided with that individual’s contact information. All inquiries by a journalist should be referred to that person, to ensure there is no violation of Rule 2.10(C) prohibiting staff from making statements about pending matters.159 At the same time, all ancillary staff should be instructed to be polite and helpful in directing the reporter to the spokesperson, in line with the duties imposed under Rule 2.8(B).160 Often reporters will be seeking basic information about a case. In keeping with the general requirements of Canon 2, public facts should be made available to all journalists upon request.161 If the state’s code of judicial ethics allows “off the recordâ€? discussions with reporters, a judge should personally provide the public facts. Reporters will appreciate this act of courtesy, which judges should provide in accordance with Rule 2.8(B). This should also ensure that the reporter has access to the most accurate information.162 The ethical mandate to be courteous is even more important in the courtroom.163 When reporters are in attendance, treating them with courtesy and respect will create a sense of civility and decorum. Over time, journalists will come to appreciate this consideration to WKHFRXUWÂśVEHQHÂżW A judge also has an ethical duty to maintain order in the courtroom under Rules 2.2 and 2.8.164 In furtherance of that duty, a set of rules for the media that are simple, clear and fair should be created, enabling every journalist to comprehend and comply with them. A judge must enforce these rules impartially as directed by Rule 2.2.165 If permitted by the judge’s jurisdiction, designating a press area in the courtroom where cameras, both still and video, can be positioned maintains a sense of order in the courtroom.

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32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 30 Side B

JUDGES & JOUR NALISTS (2008), available at http://www.sji.gov/PDF/Courts_and_the_Media_NJC_ Document.pdf. 158. 0DQ\FRXUWVGHVLJQDWHWKLVLQGLYLGXDODVWKHFRXUWÂśVÂłSXEOLFLQIRUPDWLRQRIÂżFHU´See Conference of &RXUW3XEOLF,QIRUPDWLRQ2IÂżFHUVAbout Us, CCPIO.org, http://www.ccpio.org/aboutus.htm. 159. ABA 2007 C ODE , supra note 104, Rule 2.10(C). 160. ABA 2007 C ODE 5XOH % ÂłVKDOOUHTXLUHVLPLODUFRQGXFWRIODZ\HUVFRXUWVWDIIFRXUWRIÂżFLDOV and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.â€? 161. ABA 2007 C ODE , Cannon 2. 162. ABA 2007 C ODE 5XOH % Âł$MXGJHVKDOOEHSDWLHQWGLJQLÂżHGDQGFRXUWHRXVWROLWLJDQWVMXURUV ZLWQHVVHVODZ\HUVFRXUWVWDIIFRXUWRIÂżFLDOVDQGRWKHUVZLWKZKRPWKHMXGJHGHDOVLQDQRIÂżFLDOFDSDFLW\DQGVKDOOUHTXLUHVLPLODUFRQGXFWRIODZ\HUVFRXUWVWDIIFRXUWRIÂżFLDOVDQGRWKHUVVXEMHFWWRWKH judge’s direction and control.â€? 163. ABA 2007 C ODE , Rule 2.8 Decorum, Demeanor, and Communication with Jurors (A) A judge shall UHTXLUHRUGHUDQGGHFRUXPLQSURFHHGLQJVEHIRUHWKHFRXUW % $MXGJHVKDOOEHSDWLHQWGLJQLÂżHGDQG FRXUWHRXVWROLWLJDQWVMXURUVZLWQHVVHVODZ\HUVFRXUWVWDIIFRXUWRIÂżFLDOVDQGRWKHUVZLWKZKRPWKH MXGJHGHDOVLQDQRIÂżFLDOFDSDFLW\DQGVKDOOUHTXLUHVLPLODUFRQGXFWRIODZ\HUVFRXUWVWDIIFRXUWRIÂżcials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control. (C) A judge shall not commend or criticize jurors for their verdict other than in a court order or opinion in a proceeding. Comment [1] The duty to hear all proceedings with patience and courtesy is not inconsistent with the duty imposed in Rule 2.5 WRGLVSRVHSURPSWO\RIWKHEXVLQHVVRIWKHFRXUW-XGJHVFDQEHHIÂżFLHQWDQGEXVLQHVVOLNHZKLOHEHLQJ patient and deliberate.â€? (Emphasis added.) 164. ABA 2007 C ODE , Rule 2.2, Impartiality and Fairness (“A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and VKDOOSHUIRUPDOOGXWLHVRIMXGLFLDORIÂżFHIDLUO\DQGLPSDUWLDOO\´ DQG5XOH'HFRUXP'HPHDQRU and Communication with Jurors (“(A) A judge shall require order and decorum in proceedings before WKHFRXUW % $MXGJHVKDOOEHSDWLHQWGLJQLÂżHGDQGFRXUWHRXVWROLWLJDQWVMXURUVZLWQHVVHVODZ\HUV FRXUWVWDIIFRXUWRIÂżFLDOVDQGRWKHUVZLWKZKRPWKHMXGJHGHDOVLQDQRIÂżFLDOFDSDFLW\´  165. ABA 2007 C ODE , Rule 2.2, Impartiality and Fairness: “A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and VKDOOSHUIRUPDOOGXWLHVRIMXGLFLDORIÂżFHIDLUO\DQGLPSDUWLDOO\´ VOLUME 2, I SSUE 2

7/3/12 7:57 AM

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.

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