Gag Order Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Gag Order, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Gag Order?
(n) Gag Order is the order issued by a judge prohibiting the attorney and parties involved in a legal procedure not to disclose or discuss the matter involved in the case to the public, when the judge is of the opinion that such an action may prejudice or influence the outcome the trial.
History and Meaning of Gag Order
A gag order is a legal term that has been used in the United States since the 19th century. It is a court order that prohibits the parties involved in a legal proceeding from discussing the case with the public or press. The judge issues the order if he or she believes that media coverage or public discussion could prejudice the outcome of the trial. Gag orders have been used in high-profile cases such as the O.J. Simpson trial and the Casey Anthony trial.
Examples of Gag Order
In 2018, Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was issued a gag order by a federal judge in a case involving President Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen. The order prohibited Avenatti from discussing the case with the media or public.
In 2019, a judge in Virginia issued a gag order in a case involving a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. The order prohibited the parties involved from discussing the case with the media.
In 2020, a judge in Massachusetts issued a gag order in a case involving actress Lori Loughlin and the college admissions scandal. The order prohibited the parties involved from discussing the case with the media.
Legal Terms Similar to Gag Order
Protective order - A court order that limits disclosure of sensitive information during discovery in a lawsuit.
Order of confidentiality - A court order that prohibits parties from disclosing information obtained during a legal proceeding.
Sealing order - A court order that prohibits public access to court records or documents.