Legal Conversation

Jonathan Bernstein crisis litigation, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Crisis Response, litigation-related PR, media training

Working with the media in litigation-related situations can reap serious rewards for lawyers and their clients. While the first option for dealing with the public is usually a crisis management professional, when dealing with legal matters lawyers hold the advantage of attorney-client privilege, which is a major aid in protecting sensitive information. In an article published in the latest Crisis Manager newsletter Lanny Davis and Eileen O’Conner of McDermott, Will & Emery discuss why lawyers should be trained to make very effective spokespeople:

“They have access to the facts and for that reason are more credible in the eyes of many reporters. They also know the legal issues and risks involved in the litigation and won’t be as likely to make an error that could lead to a damaging public comment that prejudices the case. And most importantly, they can work with the client and other lawyers to develop a believable message, based on the facts, that can drive and command the message in the media, correct factual distortions pushed out by the other side and avoid poisoning of the jury pool.”

While the piece is directed towards lawyers, it holds valuable lessons for anyone charged with the task of speaking for their client or organization. With a bit of effort, the media can become a valuable ally (even if that isn’t THEIR intent!).

The BCM Blogging Team