I would like to create a website exposing lawyers who represent clients that have battered women. Would this be considered libel?
1 Answer from Attorneys
That depends on what you say about them. But the fact that a particular lawyer represents clients who are accused -- or even convicted -- of certain crimes is public information. What's more, there is nothing wrong with taking such cases. There is no wrongdoing to "expose".
Anyone charged with a crime is entitled to hire a lawyer to defend him. Those who can't afford to hire one are entitled to a court-appointed attorney if the charge carries a potential jail or prison sentence. (In many states, even charges that don't carry such potential sentences entitle the defendant to counsel.) That is true no matter how reprehensible the crimes may be. There is no exception for defendants who battered women, nor should there be.
That's one of the great features of our justice system. One day, you or someone you love may be accused of such a crime. If that happens, you'll be glad there are lawyers who are willing to take such cases.
Publicly attacking lawyers who do so is thus an attack on the system itself. You may have the right to do it (as long as you don't commit libel, invade their privacy, etc.), but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.