Washington Law Review


In Gentile v. State Bar the Supreme Court voided an attorney disciplinary rule regulating trial publicity for vagueness. The Court, however, upheld the substantive standard employed by the rule to identify dangerous speech. This standard restricts more attorney comments to the media than the Court has allowed for the press or public. This Note argues that the standard upheld in Gentile fails First Amendment scrutiny and proposes a response for states reviewing their professional disciplinary rules in light of Gentile. Adoption of this proposal will mitigate the danger of prejudicial trial publicity while recognizing the benefits of attorney publicity.

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