By Phillip Millar
Recently, I worked on a case involving two individuals featured on popular reality shows, Grandbenders and The Bachelorette respectively. Unsurprisingly, the media actively cared about these reality television stars and once again I got an insider’s look at how the “celebrification” of a case can have a serious impact on its outcome. As a result, I though it would be helpful to share a few insights that can help lawyers and clients alike in cases when media attention reaches a frenzy.
The Client’s Story Must Stay the Same
In previous cases at Millars Law, we were able to use one parties’ eagerness to appear on tv and radio against them as the interviews produced inconsistencies. It is important to note that these inconsistencies are not always the result of lying. Interview scenarios are artificial constructs that can cause individuals to respond in haste or carelessness due to nerves or the need to be perceived in a certain light. Therefore, it is vital that the client treats his/her story like a script, one to be rehearsed, and memorized.
All Media Enquiries Must Go Through Counsel
Whether it’s an interview request or print statement, competent counsel must study all enquiries carefully and be active in the decision making process. This is essential even if there are media consultants or publicists already involved. Just like a professional PR person, an experienced lawyer will be able to construct a well thought out media plan and correct any misunderstandings in the public sphere.
Lawyers Must Be Able to Command a Presence
Like it or not, ever since the O.J Simpson trial, lawyers have been televised and scrutinized. A lawyer who can command respect in the press can be a strong ally in the bigger goal of preserving their client’s reputation.
A Lawsuit Can Turn the Tables of Public Opinion
Thanks to Google, a client wronged by a 3rd party can be marked for life. Often a lawsuit is the only way to turn the tables against a malicious prosecution. A lawsuit against the person or organization (i.e. police) that made the false claim is usually newsworthy and if it gets coverage, can replace the original story as the top hit and therfore counteract the effect of the original negative story.
Should you find yourself in need of legal counsel, don’t hesitate to contact Millars Law today.