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Western District drops criminal case ‘gag order’

Adoption of a first-time set of local rules in federal courts of the Western District will mean elimination of a long-standing strict order barring lawyers from disclosing details of criminal cases.

The 1983 standing order prohibits disclosure of information about a pending criminal case “that is not part of the public records of this Court.” The rule bars any disclosure about proceedings in chambers or otherwise outside the presence of the public.

Under local rules announced today and a companion order abrogating certain standing orders, the restrictive language is eliminated. The rules take effect April 8.

Virginia Lawyers Weekly subscribers can read the full story here.

By Peter Vieth

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