Lawyer Disciplined for Posting Video of Client on YouTube

On December 11, 2013, an Illinois Review Board for Attormey Registration and Disciplinary Commissions upheld a five-month suspension against a criminal defense lawyer who posted a police video depicting his client’s alleged role in criminal activity on YouTube and on Facebook. The lawyer received the video from the prosecutor prior to the preliminary hearing.

The lawyer allegedly informed the client that the lawyer was going to “pre-jury” the video to get opinions as to whether the video revealed entrapment. The client testified that she did not give permission for the lawyer to post the video on YouTube and Facebook. Although there was conflicting testimony at the disciplinary hearing, the Illinois Review Board concluded that the lawyer did not properly consult with his client, did not discuss with his client the possible repercussions of the posting of the video on the Internet, and therefore did not receive informed consent. The Illinois Board found that there is nothing unconstitutional about Rule 1.6’s confidentiality requirement and further that there was no adverse publicity about the client that might have justified releasing the video in accordance with the pretrial publicity provisions of Rule 3.6.
For the complete analysis, read the Illinois opinion here.

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