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No More Games For Lawyers, Says Court

By Abigail Stewart

The US Chief Justice has recently reprimanded and warned 30 trial judges and attorneys overseeing workers compensation criminal cases. According to the chief justice, the lawyers are no longer allowed to play with the rights of the people during their court cases. This chief justice assembled these lawyers and judges to his courtroom in order to address these highly unorthodox methods of using delaying tactics and panic in order to sway public opinion to their side and told them that it was no longer tolerated.

The chief justice did not single out anyone in particular. His mandate that the conference be held occurred as a result of the attorney general recently taking issue with judges interfering with state investigations involving certain workers compensation related matters. Lawyers soon fought back, saying that the attorney general’s comments were entirely out of order and uncalled for.

The chief justice indicated that the idea behind his conference was to make sure that justice is served fairly, and to hasten the judicial process. After that, he continued, stating the important status and role in the judicial system that each judge and lawyer holds, and how they should accelerate the rate of completed workman’s compensation cases, getting them to trial more quickly and getting them finished faster.

Usually orders must be signed by three of the five supreme court justices. This one was only signed by one, and one lawyer questioned its validity because of this. The order had a gag rule, too. And, only one justice signed it. By making out-of-court comments, with the express purpose of swaying public opinion, doesn?t help justice be served.

The justice reminded both judges and lawyers of the judicial canons and oaths of office to which they’d both agreed. Instead, the grievance committees or legal practice commissions should be the ones to hear about complaints between lawyers, instead of the general public and the people involved. On the part of the judges, the chief justice, he emphasized the need for speedy closing of the cases, but not to ignore due process. The justice allowed questions, but made sure all in attendance understood past complaints or excuses would not be listened to. There were other institutions that would deal with that.

One lawyer, whose client had been indicted by a grand jury, wanted to note the difference between media reporting and public comments the prosecution made. The First Amendment to the Constitution allows for this kind of reporting, but that the Canons of Ethics clearly disallows the prosecutor’s actions. Another lawyer, whose client used to administrate a workers compensation division, said he had not violated the gag order, but rather had taken legal steps to protect his client.

One attorney said he wouldn’t give up any of this clients’ rights just to be unkind. One attorney worried that perhaps silence might be interpreted incorrectly as admission of guilt. An imprisoned lawyer’s attorney, said the publicity workers compensation criminal cases had was growing on a terrible course. Yet another lawyer said that his client faces terrible difficulties in overcoming the negative affects of the bad publicity he has received.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Stewart, Abigail "No More Games For Lawyers, Says Court." No More Games For Lawyers, Says Court. 26 Jun. 2010. 17 Feb 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Stewart, A (2010, June 26). No More Games For Lawyers, Says Court. Retrieved February 17, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Stewart, Abigail "No More Games For Lawyers, Says Court"

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