Beardsley, Jensen and Von Wald
Does a Circuit Court judge in South Dakota have the legal authority to issue a "gag order" in a civil case preventing the attorneys from talking outside the courtroom about the case?
Gag orders in criminal cases are usually designed to protect a defendant's right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. Theoretically, it's possible that a gag order may be appropriate for the same reason in a civil jury trial, though it's unlikely. It's even more unlikely when the civil case is being tried to the court, not a jury.
Issuing a "gag order" in a civil case is clearly an exception, not the rule. The law generally allows attorneys to comment publicly about the civil case they are trying – whether they should is another question.
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