Judge Warns Third Party Lawyers in Zimmerman Case
Judge Kenneth Lester has issued a written order on the motion brought last week by the state for a gag order. Judge Lester says the lawyers for the parties (the state and Mr. Zimmerman) have acted with the utmost professionalism and no gag order on them is warranted.
He then reminds lawyers "connected to" the case and "their agents" that they are also subject to Florida ethical rules for lawyers on extrajudicial comments and are subject to discipline if they violate the rules. [More...]
All attorneys are ethically obligatcd to follow the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar and may be subject to discipline for violating those rules. With regard to those attorneys connected to this case (or their agents) who choose to speak to the media must keep specifically in mind Rule 4-3.6, which states:
(a) Prejudicial Extrajudicial Statements Prohibited.
A lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding due to its creation of an imminent and substantial detrimental effect on that proceeding.
(b) Statements of Third Parties.
A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to make such a statement. Counsel shall exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, employees, or other persons assisting in or associated with a case from making extrajudicial statements that are prohibited under this rule.
Hopefully, the lawyers "connected to the case" and "their agents" will now be more responsible in their public comments.
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