How to Ethically and Effectively Use the Media and Engage the Court of Public Opinion with Wayne Pollock [LGE 016]



There are many instances when a lawyer might want to turn to the press and media to engage them in a way that helps their existing clients. While there are certainly numerous marketing benefits to engaging the press, there’s also a huge opportunity to offer unique legal services to clients in addition to litigation. We’re exploring how to be more media-savvy for the benefit of our clients in this episode.

I’m joined by Wayne Pollock, Founder and Managing Attorney at Copo Strategies, a national legal services and communications firm helping attorneys and clients ethically, strategically, and proactively engage the court of public opinion.

What We Discuss in This Episode:

  • Why many lawyers might think their cases are too “small” for the media to even care (but why that’s a huge mistake)
  • What two tracks lawyers should think about with regards to engaging the media
  • Despite a judge’s or jury’s ability to “block out” press coverage of a case, it’s human nature to be impacted by what is read and heard. That alone is sufficient to want to engage the press and take the opportunity to shape the case prior to entering the court
  • A Pennsylvania attorney who released confidential taped conversations to the press and the ramifications of his actions
  • What lawyers should know about ABA Rule 1.6 and Rule 3.6 when speaking with the press
  • Rule 3.6(b) and (c) are safe harbors that delineate what lawyers are allowed to discuss with the media
  • How lawyers can use the media as a defense mechanism on behalf of your client?
  • How long it takes for a statement that taints a client’s case to dissipate from a juror’s mind
  • What about statements that are only allowed to be made inside of court but not outside? How do lawyers deal with those?
  • Attorneys can be liable for defamation if previously-filed copies of complaints are provided to reporters
  • Why it’s important for lawyers to work with PR companies who are familiar with ethical rules
  • The three categories of benefits for lawyers who utilize the media
  • When does privilege apply to PR firms and why is it important to know?

Resources Mentioned:

ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.6

ABA Formal Opinion 480

Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada, 501 U.S. 1030 (1991)

ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.6

Defamatory article:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sanford-heisler-sharp-files-100-million-gender-pregnancy-and-maternity-discrimination-lawsuit-against-am-law-giant-morrison–foerster-300639108.html

Bochetto v. Gibson, 860 A.2d 67 (Pa. 2004)

Wayne’s Contact Information:

Website: www.copostrategies.com

Email address: waynepollock@copostrategies.com

Phone number: 215.454.2180

Wayne’s free guide for lawyers to help them avoid common mistakes when they speak to reporters: www.mediamistakeslawyersmake.com

Thank you for listening!

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This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matters, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.

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