Journalist's Guide

Judges vary widely in how they respond to media inquiries. No single approach is right or wrong. Often, judges who were used to dealing with the media before going on the bench will be more comfortable with reporters and more open to discussion, while judges whose former law practice did not involve the public eye may be more close-lipped and guarded. While individual judges are given some discretion when it comes to dealing with media inquiries, it may be useful to explore the subject with GRPA. The Division may suggest ways to meet the reporter’s needs without compromising the judge’s obligations to the case or their ethical code. Finally, reporters should develop contacts among the bench and bar who might be willing to translate or clarify the “legalese” reporters will encounter as they cover court proceedings, and help them enter the courthouse with at least a rudimentary knowledge of the law and procedure. Area law schools may also direct reporters to a law professor who can be helpful in explaining laws or procedures.

For more information about the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct, consult the Maryland Rules, Title 18.


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