Richard Lavinthal preparing for a major case news conference at the US Attorney's Office.

Public Relations & Media Relations
by Richard Lavinthal


Clips, Media Mentions
And Commentary

Philadelphia Bar Association: Upon Further Review
Legal Media Relations v. Advertising:
Knowing the Difference and Maximizing Your Reach

The legal recession has been killing off firms and lopping off partners, associates and support staff. Big law is cutting summer associate positions, delaying starts and, in at least one case; reneged on delayed starts for new associates by telling them they now have no jobs

KYW Newsradio, Philadelphia
Fort Dix Six Case

"When several men go to trial later this fall on charges of conspiring to kill American soldiers at the Fort Dix military base, the federal judge hearing the case in Camden, NJ wants evidence to be posted on the Internet."

The Times of Trenton and
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Indicted Forever

"In 1987, a Bronx, N.Y., trial jury found Raymond Donovan, President Gerald Ford's secretary of labor, innocent of larceny and fraud charges. After the verdict was read, Donovan, a Bayonne native, shouted angrily to Prosecutor Stephen Bookin, 'Give me back my reputation.' "

WIBC-FM, Indianapolis
Crime Beat Program

Richard Lavinthal was interviewed by Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi regarding unsolved homicides and law enforcement media relations. Brizzi's show is a weekly event featuring local and out-of-state guests along with citizen call-ins.

Philadelphia Daily News
Web-based crime stoppers

Richard Lavinthal lauds the international cyber community's solution of a housebreaking in Philadelphia and suggests in this April 2008 column that the hard-pressed Philadelphia Police Department could take a lesson from it.

Vidocq Society Journal
V.S.M. Starts New Legal Public Relations Agency

Richard Lavinthal served as Director of Communications (Pro Bono) for the Vidocq Society for a decade. In this Journal article he announces PRforLAW, LLC and talks about highlights of his decade writing newsletters and dealing with the media over unsolved homicides investigated by the Society.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Patriot News
"Bonusgate" Perp-Walk Commentary
Another Misuse of Prosecutorial Power

In July 2008 Richard Lavinthal took strong exception to the parading of handcuffed witnesses before and after arraignment in Pennsylvania's most recent scandal.

Washington,D,C., Examiner
If Alberto Gonzales Leaves
Michael Chertoff Should Replace Him

"If Alberto Gonzales hangs tough and survives Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he should thank Don Imus, three former Duke University lacrosse players, District Attorney Mike Nifong, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Middle East travel agent, Howard K. Stern and the late Anna Nicole Smith."

Public Relations Society of America
Bonus Tactics Commentary:
Dissecting the media circus around
John Mark Karr. Who’s to blame?

In October the world's largest professional society for PR professionals features in-depth legal PR analysis by Richard Lavinthal in which Boulder County Prosecutor Mary Lacy is taken to task for exceptionally poor legal media relations in the John Mark Karr investigation fiasco.

Philadelphia Daily News
When A Bomb Drops During An Election

An Oct. 31, 2006 OpEd in the Philadelphia Daily News by Richard Lavinthal appeared a week before the mid-term general election. Lavinthal looks at candidates who are under investigation and explains what it really means when anyone is being investigated.

Associated Press Worldwide
JonBenet Ramsey Murder Investigation

A Sept. 3, 2006 AP report distributed around the globe appearing in hundreds of newspapers and Web sites. The day after legal PR expert Richard Lavinthal's OpEd appeared in the The Philadelphia Inquirer (see below), the Associated Press in Denver called.

In her August 31st "exculpatory" news conference, Prosecutor Mary Lacy stated that all the physical evidence in the Ramsey case was known by the public, a stunning admission that should never have been blurted out. Now, without "holdback," if DNA identification becomes a problem how can a suspect ever be identified? This was yet another example of worst-practice legal media relations by a prosecutor.

Philadelphia Inquirer OpEd
August 31, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey Murder, The Karr Investigation
Mishandled By The Prosecuror And By The Media

This OpEd takes a close look at missteps made by Prosecutor Mary Lacy, especially the improper way the investigation of John Mark Karr was conducted in public instead of in private. The result was a worst-practices example of legal media releations, Richard Lavinthal argues.

The Times of Trenton
Journalism and Omerta: Watergate Style

Richard Lavinthal takes a cold, hard look at secret sources in journalism in light of the May 31, 2005 revelation that 91-year-old W. Mark Felt is the mysterious Watergate source dubbed "Deep Throat." When Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and the Washington Post confirmed Felt as their source they burned a 33-year-old vow of secrecy for life, Lavinthal argues. The OpEd. was also linked on prPROpinion.com and PRforLAW.com.

WPHT Radio, Philadelphia
The Michael Smerconish Show

Nothing ever disappears from the Internet, Richard Lavinthal explained at an in-studio appearance on Philadelphia's highest-rated AM talk show. On July 28, 2005 Lavinthal discussed archive.org and the Wayback Machine, in light of a lawsuit in which a suburban Philadelphia law firm was alleged to have "hacked" into the non-profit's Web site in an attempt to gather evidence. Just to show how Wayback worked, Lavinthal brought Smerconish a printout of his Web site as it appeared seven years ago.

"John" Shots: Punishment by Photo
A Philadelphia Daily News OpEd

In summer 2004 Richard Lavinthal argued that the newspaper and Philadelphia police acted irresponsibly by publishing mug shots of 33 men arrested in connection with two street prostitute reverse stings.

DA Spinning Jackson Case
A Philadelphia Inquirer OpEd

At the beginning of 2004 Richard Lavinthal argued that District Attorney Tom Sneddon erred by allowing a PR firm to handle media relations for the Jackson case.

Cold Case Homicide Article
When the Philadelphia Daily News looked at cold case homicides it called Richard Lavinthal for expert comment as result of long tenure as spokesman for a private organization that seeks to solve old murder cases.

UHF Channel 48, Philadelphia
On "Update 48"
Richard Lavinthal argued in summer 2004 that Pennsylvania law enforcement should distribute mug shots only in rare circumstances, i.e. where a life can be saved, a wanted person captured or a law enforcement investigation continued.

WPHT Radio, Philadelphia
The Michael Smerconish Show
In June 2005, Natalee Holloway had been missing for a few days in Aruba. Mike Smerconish asked Richard Lavinthal to explain why pundits already complaining about Aruban law enforcement's investigation don't know what they were talking about.

When an FBI "bug" was discovered in Philadelphia Mayor John Street's office just before the November 2003 elections, Smerconish, an attorney, asked Lavinthal to provide insight into calls for the U.S. Attorney to reveal why the listening device was placed in City Hall. Lavinthal used his experience as a U.S. Department of Justice spokesman to explain why court rules do not allow anyone to comment in any way.

WWDB Radio, Philadelphia
Paul Kircher Show
Richard Lavinthal argued that Pennsylvania law enforcement should distribute mug shots only in rare circumstances on Philadelphia's business radio station.

Times of Trenton
Op Ed
After famed Hollywood actor Donald O'Connor died, Richard Lavinthal reminisced about the time the multi-talented performer put on a unique show for students at Trenton High School. O'Connor appeared thanks to an invitation from a former Army buddy teaching at the school who had served with O'Connor in World War Two.

Quotes and Appearances
(Alphabetical Partial List)


A&E Cold Case


Advanced Cold Case

Associated Press


Assoc. of Inspectors General

Augusta, GA,Chronicle


Austin-American Statesman

Belleville, IL, News-Democrat


Bergen, NJ, Record

Biloxi, MS, Sun Herald


Boulder, GA, Daily Camera

Bradenton, FL, Herald


Bucks Library (Forensics)

Bucks, PA, Courier Times


Calgary, Canada, Herald

Cape Coral, FL, Daily Breeze


Centre Daily Times, PA

Clarksville, TN, Leaf-Chronicle



Contra Costa, CA, Times


Dallas, TX,Morning News

Delaware Medical Examiners



Fort Myers, FL, News Press


Fort Wayne, IN, Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne, IN, News Sentinel


Fort Worth, TX, Star Telegram

Guardian Unlimited, UK


Houston Chronicle

International Herald Tribune


Knoxville. TN, News Sentinel



Miami, OK, News Record

Michael Smerconish Show


Monterey County, CA, Herald

New York Times


Newark, NJ, Star Ledger

Newark, NJ, Star-Ledger



Ottawa, Canada, Citizen


Pennsylvania State Police

Philadelphia Daily News   Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Tribune


Pioneer Press, MN

Providence, RI, Daily Journal


Public Relations Society America

San Diego Union Tribune


San Francisco Chronicle

St. Petersburg, FL, Times


Stuart, FL, News

The Ledger, FL


The State, SC



Times Daily, AL

Times of Trenton


Times Picayune, New Orleans



US Postal Inspection Service

USA Today


USA Today

Washington Post





Winston-Salem, NC, Journal



Worcester, MA Telegram

WWDB AM Paul Kircher




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