Pre-publication review should be an integral part of your process for making any public statement about a consent incident. A good review process will help ensure that everything in your statement is fair and accurate and will help protect you in the event of a lawsuit.
You can do your own review but it’s best to have a lawyer do it, especially in high risk situations.
Pre-publication review consists of making a detailed pass through your draft statement and identifying every factual claim, opinion, or call to action. For each one, you should document in writing your rationale for saying what you said. Once the process is complete, keep a written copy in your files.
To win a defamation case, the plaintiff must at a minimum prove you were negligent—that you should have known what you said wasn’t true. By documenting the care you took to ensure everything was true, you create a powerful rebuttal to the negligence argument.
In some cases, it may be very important to protect the anonymity of your sources. Your pre-publication review notes may end up in court: don’t put anything in them that could compromise someone’s safety.