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Lawyers and the Media

18 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2014  

Emily MacKinnon

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Emira Tufo

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Simon Potter

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Date Written: August 17, 2014

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

MacKinnon, Emily and Tufo, Emira and Potter, Simon, Lawyers and the Media (August 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2497299 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2497299

Emily MacKinnon (Contact Author)

McCarthy Tétrault LLP ( email )

Suite 1300, Pacific Centre
777 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V7Y 1K2
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.mccarthy.ca/lawyer_detail.aspx?id=7709

Emira Tufo

McCarthy Tétrault LLP ( email )

Suite 4700, TD Bank Tower
Toronto Dominion Centre
Toronto, Ontario M5K 1E6
Canada

Simon Potter

McCarthy Tétrault LLP ( email )

Suite 2500
1000 De La Gauchetière Street West
Montréal, Quebec H3B 0A2
Canada
514-397-4100 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mccarthy.ca/lawyer_detail.aspx?id=5505

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