Clients, Lawyers, and the Media


Media scrutiny of criminal trials is commonplace. Newspapers give extensive attention to criminal trials of celebrities such as Martha Stewart and those, such as Scott Peterson, accused of terrible crimes. And television, through Court TV, provides coverage and commentary on criminal trials of even obscure defendants. The lawyer and the client have limited ability to control such coverage-whether in print media or oil television-and it is usually limited to what an observer sitting in the court- room would see. The Constitution requires public criminal trials, and newspapers and television cameras extend public access to open courtroom proceedings beyond the relatively small number of spectators a typical courtroom holds.

Two recent cases, though, demonstrate that television may be poised to expand the scope and intrusiveness of its coverage of criminal trials raising challenging questions of legal ethics.


Meida, Criminal Trials

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Criminal Justice

Publication Information

19 (1) Criminal Justice 77 (2004)

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COinS Peter A. Joy Faculty Bio