Sunday, April 17, 2005

Defense lawyer seeks gag order in inn fire wrongful death case

The Charlottesville paper reports here that a defense lawyer is asking for a gag order on the lawyers in the wrongful death case, now pending in federal court, arising out of the deaths of two recruiters from a New York law firm.

The defense lawyer is D. Cameron Beck of Morris & Morris. Plaintiff's counsel include Matthew B. Murray of Raymond and Fishburne and Thomas E. Albro of Tremblay & Smith. There are or were many other lawyers in the several cases, which before Judge Moon and Magistrate Judge Crigler.

I've not seen a gag order as such before either, but I am mindful of Local Rule 83.2 of the E.D. Tenn., cited here previously, which says, regarding civil cases:

No lawyer or law firm associated with a civil action shall, during its investigation or litigation, make or participate in making an extrajudicial statement, other than a quotation from or reference to public records, which a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial and if such dissemination relates to:

(1) evidence regarding the occurrence or transaction involved;
(2) the character, credibility, or criminal record of a party, witness, or prospective witness;
(3) the performance or results of any examinations or tests or the refusal or failure of a party to submit to such;
(4) the attorney's opinion as to the merits of the claims or defenses of a party, except as required by law or administrative rule; and
(5) any other matter reasonably likely to interfere with a fair trial of the action.

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