Outsource Your Marketing, DC Courts Edition

The media, when they write about court cases, often get it wrong. They get the facts wrong, or they get the law wrong, or they dumb the story down so much (“I can’t write about that, it’s inside baseball”) that it would fit in a Little Golden Book.

Those who work in the courts know this. When potential jurors have read press coverage of the case being tried, the parties have to explore whether that has influenced their judgment. Sometimes press coverage in one county is so pervasive that the entire trial has to be moved to another county. Once jurors are sworn, the judge admonishes them not to read or watch press coverage about the case they are trying. 

So it’s mind-boggling that the official website of the District of Columbia court system leads off with a scrolling list of links to news stories about cases in the D.C. courts. Somebody thought this was a good idea, but I doubt that it was a judge or a clerk or anyone else with a stake in the fair and efficient administration of justice.

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(H/t Jon Katz.)