Lawyers and the Media
18 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2014
Date Written: August 17, 2014
There has been a steady shift in the permissibility of lawyers’ communications with the media. Whereas in 1983 Chief Justice Laskin suggested that a lawyer was “very close to contempt” for speaking to reporters about a case on the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada, that court now permits reporters to interview parties and their counsel in the foyer of the court building.
This shift has been reflected in the codes of conduct applicable throughout Canada, which now provide that it is not only permissible for lawyers to speak to the media but that, depending on the circumstance, lawyers may have an obligation to do so. It is now in any event unthinkable that a lawyer can properly represent all clients’ interests in all cases by being always silent outside the courtroom.
This paper discusses the ethical rules in each Canadian jurisdiction concerning a lawyer’s communications with the media, as well as the themes that emerge from the rules and case law.
Keywords: Lawyers, media, publicity, ethics, justice system
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