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Rule 4.10 - Release of Information

(a) All government personnel, including Marshals, Deputy Marshals, Court Clerks, Deputy Clerks, Probation Officers, and Court Reporters, among others, together with state or federal law enforcement personnel associated or assisting in the preparation or trial of a criminal case, are prohibited from disclosing for  dissemination by any means of public communication, without authorization by the Court, information relating to an imminent or pending criminal case that is not part of the public records of the Court.

(b) It is the duty of the lawyer not to release or authorize the release of information or opinion for dissemination by any means of public communication in connection with pending or imminent criminal litigation with which he is associated, if there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the due administration of justice. Where there is any such reasonable likelihood, the following will apply:

(1) With respect to a grand jury or other pending investigation of any criminal matter, a lawyer participating in the investigation shall refrain from making any extrajudicial statement, for dissemination by any means of public communication, that goes beyond the public record or that is not necessary to inform the public that the investigation is underway, to describe the general scope of the investigation, to obtain assistance in the apprehension of a suspect, to warn the public of any dangers, or otherwise to aid in the investigation.

(2) From the time of arrest, issuance of an arrest warrant, or the filing of a complaint, information, or indictment in any criminal matter until the commencement of trial or disposition without trial, a lawyer associated with the prosecution or defense shall not release or authorize release of any extrajudicial statement, for  dissemination by any means of public communication, relating to that matter and concerning: (i) the prior criminal record (including arrests, indictments, or other charges of crime), or the character or reputation of the accused, except that the lawyer may make a factual statement of the accused's name, age, residence,  occupation, and family status, and if the accused has not been apprehended, a lawyer associated with the prosecution may release any information necessary to aid in his apprehension or to warn the public of any dangers he may present; (ii) the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by the accused, or the refusal or failure of the accused to make any statement; (iii) the performance of any examinations or tests or the accused's refusal or failure to submit to an examination or test; (iv) the identity, testimony or credibility of prospective witnesses, except that the lawyer may announce the identity of the victim if the  announcement is not otherwise prohibited by law; (v) the possibility of a plea of guilty to the offense charged or a lesser offense; or (vi) any opinion as to the accused's guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case.

(c) The foregoing provisions of subsection (b) of this rule shall not be construed to preclude the lawyer, in the proper discharge of his official or professional obligations, from announcing the fact and circumstances of arrest (including time and place of arrest, resistance, pursuit, and use of weapons), the identity of the investigating and arresting officer or agency, and the length of time of seizure of any physical evidence other than a confession, admission, or statement, which is limited to a description of the evidence seized; from disclosing the nature, substance, or text of the charge, including a brief description of the offense charged; from quoting or referring without comment to public records of the court in the case; from announcing the scheduling or result of any stage in the judicial process; from requesting assistance in obtaining evidence; or from announcing without further comment that the accused denies the charges made against him.

(d) During the trial of any criminal matter, including the period of selection of the jury, no lawyer associated with the prosecution or defense shall give or authorize any extrajudicial statement or interview, relating to the trial or the parties or issues in the trial, for dissemination by any means of public communication, except that the lawyer may quote from or refer without comment to public records of the court in the case.

(e) Unless otherwise provided by law, all preliminary criminal proceeding including preliminary examinations and hearings on pretrial motions, shall be held in open court and shall be available for attendance and observation by the public; provided that, upon motion made or agreed to by the defense, the Court, in the exercise of its discretion, may order that a pretrial proceeding be closed to the public in whole or in part, on the grounds:

(1) that there is a reasonable likelihood that the dissemination of information disclosed at such proceeding would impair the defendant's right to a fair trial; and

(2) that reasonable alternatives to closure will not adequately protect defendant's right to a fair trial. If the Court so orders, it shall state for the record its specific findings concerning the need for closure.

(f) Nothing in this rule is intended to preclude the formulation or application of more restrictive rules relating to the release of information about juvenile or other offenders, to preclude the holding of hearings or the lawful issuance of reports by legislative, administrative, or investigative bodies, or to preclude any lawyer from replying to charges of misconduct that are publicly made against him.

(g) In a widely publicized or sensational case, the Court on motion of either party or on its own motion, may issue a special order governing such matters as extrajudicial statements by parties and witnesses likely to interfere with the rights of any party to a fair trial by an impartial jury, the seating and conduct in the courtroom of  spectators and news media representatives, the management and sequestration of jurors and witnesses, and any other matters which the Court may deem appropriate for inclusion in such an order.