Legal experts recommend Alec Baldwin STFU

Originally published at: Legal experts recommend Alec Baldwin STFU | Boing Boing


I feel empathy for him, I have no idea if he is culpable or to what degree - and neither does anyone else not directly involved in the investigation, If I had been a part of or involved in the accidental death of a person I would be devastated, all the more so if I’d done the thing that caused the death.

That said, he should stay out of the media.


It is a long proven truth that for every attorney/lawyer there exists another attorney/lawyer with an opposing belief regardless of the truth.


Attorney vs PR person- guess who won?


That is sound #notlegaladvice.


Yeah, plus: his interviews are, and can only be seen as, self-serving. He’s resolving his PR issues. It’s of no help to the victims (uh, except inadvertently helping their civil lawsuits).


It’s also rather sad if you create a culture of silence where no one dares to speak for fear it will be used against him.


Checks out.

Shut the fuck up.

Ddg link rather than GoogleTube so it doesn’t onebox but if you haven’t watched it before, you should.

Don’t talk to the fucking cops.


In spite of how feel about Mr. Baldwin, shutting up has historically not been his strong suit.



But if you know you are innocent, you have nothing to fear from talking, to helping rule you out. /s


That’s what the prohibition on double jeopardy in the 5th amendment is for(also makes it harder to harass someone by just re-charging them over and over indefinitely by dribbling out irrelevant new details; but definitely has the effect of drastically limiting the scope of the ‘absolutely do not talk about it without your lawyer’ area). Once the case is tried, that’s it(unless somebody manages something really weaselly in terms of getting an exquisitely narrow interpretation of “for the same offence” rammed through); even if his memoirs make things look rather more damning; the case is over.

I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t like the process of getting cases to trial to be faster, so the pre-trial situation is less prolonged(and, while implementation is…not what it might be…that’s why the 6th amendment puts ‘speedy’ as the very first attribute of the trial to which all accused have a right to); but how could one conceivably forbid statements people voluntarily make about a matter under criminal investigation from potentially being used at trial? This case makes the ‘not a good idea to talk about a possible crime without a lawyer’ aspect more visible since it immediately became public and the guy holding the gun at the time and exercising a position of some influence on the set immediately became a person of interest(unlike situations where a likely crime goes undiscovered for some time, incurs no public interest, or has no likely candidates until a good way into the investigation); but “things people say about potentially criminal situations” are a pretty major body of evidence; and it’s hard to think of a sensible way one could construct a ‘freedom of doing interviews’ carve-out.


I recognize that the best legal strategy is not always the same as the most effective PR strategy (for example, Trumpian legal tactics were very effective at rallying the base even as they failed miserably in court) but it’s hard to see how Baldwin is doing himself any favors on either front here.


The need to STFU is pretty widespread, and I’m sure whatever Alec Baldwin said was stuff the world could have lived without.

But I dunno why anyone thinks it matters what lawyers think. Legal advice is only valuable within the twisted world of the legal system, and free legal advice isn’t valuable at all.

It’s like the received wisdom that you shouldn’t apologise to anyone because it’s an admission of liability, or you shouldn’t try to help accident victims in case they sue you – even if these beliefs made you smart in the legal world, in the actual world they just make you an asshole.

(In speaking to the family of someone you accidentally killed, there are of course many other ways to be an asshole)


That is exactly the world that Baldwin currently finds himself facing. One way or another there will be legal consequences for this death.

When you find yourself struggling for survival in unfamiliar territory it usually isn’t a good idea to ignore the advice of all the professional guides.


Because the advice of experienced lawyers can reduce your likelihood of being found liable in a civil case and/or guilty of criminal liability. This is the kind of general legal advice that actually has proven to be generally correct and valuable over the years.

This is where actually studies have shown that apologizing can reduce the chance of being sued. Evidence based legal advice may include the possibility of apologizing - but it’s tricky because while it can reduce the chance of being sued, in some jurisdictions plaintiffs might try to use the apology against the person who made it.


I’m no legal expert and my first thought when I saw clips from the interview was: WTF is he thinking talking to the media about this?!


And to add to that:

Actors are paid professional liars. That’s their skill set. The famous ones are generally damn good at it. A. Baldwin is really good at it.

I’ve no idea, of course, if he’s guilty or not. But this interview should be regarded as nothing more than a well-told story.


I fully expect Alec Baldwin has both lawyers and PR people guiding his movements and statements on this , and those people know more about his particular situation than a bunch of rando legal experts at the LA Times.

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I’m sure he has all of those advisers, but as this is Alec Baldwin we’re talking about, I’m not so sure that he is listening to their advice.