About thirty trial judges and lawyers who are involved with workers compensation criminal cases were addressed by one US Chief Justice. The courts, according to the Chief Justice, are not there for lawyers to play games with individual or public rights. The judge issued this decree when speaking from the bench to the singled out group of judges and lawyers, noting the unusual form of communication and saying that the court will not allow for any more delays intended to artificially affect the time frame of the judicial process.
He didn't accuse in one by name. The conference was summoned after the attorney general blamed several local judges for doing damage to the state's investigation of, and subsequent prosecution of, alleged workers compensation cases. The judge's remarks led to many, many comments by other lawyers regarding the attorney general's statements.
The reason for holding the conference, according to the justice, was to stop justice from being misused and to ensure the judicial process continue in a timely manner. The justice continued by calling on lawyers and judges to give the worker compensation cases first priority. He also said the courts should move them up to the front of the calendar, and further expedite the trials by calling special jury terms.
As the conference went on, there was one lawyer that alleged that the order wasn't valid, since an order like that needed to be signed by three or more judges. Only one justice signed the order, which also contained a gag rule. Statements made publicly out of court, including criticisms and recriminations, made for the specific purpose of swaying public opinion is not helpful to obtaining justice.
That type of offensive personality, in his eyes, was clearly in violation of their oaths of office, and he urged them to refrain. Should a lawyer have a complaint about another lawyer, the grievance committee, the court or the legal practice commission offers a place to air that. The justice reminded the judges that the constitution said everyone had a right to a speedy trial, and that due process must be upheld. The floor was opened to questions at this point, but the chief justice insisted that they be legitimate questions instead of complaints or criticisms about his previous statements. Those issues would be addressed in the correct arena.
There was one lawyer involved in a grand jury indictment case that stated media reporting and prosecution's public statements were not the same thing at all. The lawyer said the Canon of Ethics should have stopped the prosecutor from speaking publicly, but that the Second Amendment to the Constitution allowed the media to report. The counsel representing the former administrator in question from the workers compensation case said that no illegal measures had been taken and that no standing gag orders had been violated with what had been said.
Just to be mean, one attorney said he wouldn't be giving up any of his client's rights. One counselor briefly spoke about the concern he had that silence could be seen as some kind of admission of guilt. Another counselor said that the progression of the publicity given to workers compensation cases was increasing at an unstoppable rate. Another lawyer told about the problems his clients had to overcome simply because of the negative publicity.