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R. Kelly and the Case for Not Letting Clients Speak to the Media

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

R. Kelly took the wrong page from Roger Stone's playbook.

Kelly ranted on television about sex abuse charges against him, following a pattern that put Roger Stone in the news recently. A judge threatened to jail Stone for airing out his criminal case in the media.

But in Kelly's case, the potential consequences are more serious. In the court of public opinion, lawyers should know that convictions come a lot faster.

Court of Public Opinion

Hours after Kelly's television appearance aired, he was in custody. It was on a different case, but still.

It's usually not a good idea to let clients talk to the media while their cases are pending. Even media-savvy clients can put their feet in their mouths.

Feet, foot, whatever; it's not a good look. If you have clients in the spotlight, give them a Miranda warning. what they say can be used against them.

Stone, facing charges for obstruction and lying to Congress, literally wrote the book on it. The judge put a gag order on him, and almost threw him in jail for running his mouth and potentially spoiling the proceedings.

Serious Consequences

In Stone's case, the consequence of violating a gag order is a contempt citation. The First Amendment says that will not last very long.

Kelly's potential consequences are more serious; he talked about having sex with allegedly underage girls. He said he didn't "look" at their ages, but said their parents "gave" them to him.

If you have clients like that, just set the DVR and bill for an hour. It will be over sooner than you think.

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