Local attorney is back chronicling the Kobe Chronicles
David Lugert was excused Monday from a blanket gag order banning almost everyone connected with the Kobe Bryant rape case from speaking in public. Lugert was originally included in District Judge Terry Ruckriegle’s gag order because Lugert keeps an office in the same suite in Eagle as John Clune, the alleged victim’s attorney.Lugert becomes the first person to be excused from the gag order, which prohibits anyone connected with the case from making public statements.”This is victory for the First Amendment,” said Lugert, a local defense attorney and former federal and state prosecutor. “The first objection to the gag order has been sustained, and that might be an indication that the judge could reconsider and return to the pretrial decorum order.”That decorum order instructs all the attorneys and participants to adhere to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, especially refraining from pretrial statements that could influence potential jurors.Lugert filed an objection to being included in the gag order, saying it violated his First Amendment rights. Lugert was not served with the gag order, which he said violated his due process rights. The order precluded him from working as an analyst for Denver’s KCNC-TV and CBS network news. Lugert also helps analyze the case for print media, including the Vail Daily.”I’m glad now that I’m able put down my legal pad and pick up my reporter’s notebook,” said Lugert. “I was never the story, and didn’t want to be the story. I want to cover and analyze the case and the story itself. I only want my rights protected as an attorney and member of the media.”I’m gratified that the judge has returned to the position that I can and may do so.”Randy Wyrick is a reporter for the Vail Daily, based in Vail, Colorado.