Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Disciplinary procedure confidentiality rule declared unconstitutional

Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that confidentiality rule that blocks any participant in an attorney disciplinary proceeding from publicly discussing the matter until formal charges are filed violates the First Amendment. The case is called In re Warner (available here.) Writing for the court, Justice Jeffrey P. Victory concluded that the confidentiality rule—which the court itself adopted in 1990—is a content-based prior restraint on speech. It cannot survive strict scrutiny, the court added, because the rule is not narrowly tailored to serve the state's interests.

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