If you’ve ever been involved in a court case, you may have wondered if your name could appear in the media. For cases that involve movie stars or politicians, it seems likely just because they’re already in the media, but what about for regular everyday people like me and you? If you’re over 18 years of age, it’s possible your name can appear online or in print. And there’s likely nothing you can do about it.
Court transcripts are public record which means that unless you negotiated protection (think high profile, high risk, and witness protection scenarios), there is a chance your involvement could lead to a media mention.
The reality is that most cases aren’t high profile or high risk so the odds of you being a Kato Kaelin, OJ Simpson’s infamous houseguest, aren’t high but the possibility exists.
Let’s not discount the power of social media to get your name mentioned. Local news sites may share your name if your testimony is newsworthy.
The risk of your name being in the media - traditional or social - should not deter you from offering your testimony.
The reality is that if you are subpoenaed, you must testify in court but you do have the protection of the Fifth Amendment. That protection allows you to not tell what you know if what you know could incriminate you. **We are not attorneys so please seek the advice of counsel before testifying or invoking the Fifth Amendment. **
The reason court proceedings are public is to deter people from lying while on the stand. If they do, they risk public humiliation of being found a liar.
Being found a liar is probably worse than giving testimony. An Oklahoma attorney may, if they feel a witness may not be telling the whole truth, hire a legal videographer to record the deposition that can later be used in open court.
Whether you like it or not, serving as a witness in a court case can lead to your name being in the media - print, television, or social. If you’re under 18 years old or in grave danger, you may be able to keep your name out of the media, but for the vast majority of witnesses, your name becomes part of the public record.
If you’re an attorney in need of a court reporter for an upcoming deposition, contact us to get scheduled.