You may recall a blog post that I wrote a year ago entitled “Why I don’t post arrest videos from my cases on the net.” It was about a downstate attorney who was facing disciplinary action for posting on youtube and facebook police videos that he had obtained in discovery in the course of representing a client. The attorney titled the videos “Cops and Task Force Planting Drugs – Part 1″ and “Cops and Task Force Planting Drugs – Part 2.”
I explained that the postings violated an Illinois Supreme Court Rule which requires that an attorney maintain exclusive control of all discovery obtained in felony matters. Rule 415(c), as well as a professional conduct rule that requires that attorneys refrain from doing anything that might pose a threat to the fairness of an impending matter. IL Rules of Professional Conduct 3.6(a).
While I don’t like certain aspects of these rules (see my previous post for my reasoning), they are rules of conduct that are pretty clear-cut.
Today’s update is that the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District upheld a trial court sanction against the attorney. The case is People v. Fulmer and Gilsdorf, 2013 IL App (4th) 120747. In the opinion, the court rejected the attorney’s claim that he had a First Amendment right to disseminate the information, as well as his claim that the Supreme Court Rule did not apply because the discovery was tendered before felony charges were formally approved.
According the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission’s website, an ethics complaint against the attorney for his conduct is still pending.