Can a lawyer disclose criminal discovery to a third party without the defendant’s knowledge?

Q: This is a criminal homicide case. The lawyer is always on TV. He gave all kind of information on my brother’s mental health to a news reporter. Neither my brother, nor my family consented to this. (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: Generally, a lawyer cannot disclose confidential client information without the consent of the client. However, there are situations when it is appropriate or required. I am not sure about this situation. I am not understanding why it would be required and what advantage to your brother it would create, but I am not familiar with the case. If you feel this is potentially harmful, you may want to have your brother immediately tell the lawyer that he does not consent to the release. You may also want to contact the news organization as well to inform them that they have no authority to release this information.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.