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Kevin Roper, The Wal-Mart truck driver who slammed into a limo carrying Tracy Morgan in June 2014, injuring Morgan and others and killing comedian James McNair, is seeking to have the criminal charges against him dismissed. Roper's attorney, David Glassman, is claiming that the criminal charges against his client -- one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto -- should be dismissed because his client won't be able to get a fair trial in light of the publicity surrounding the case. The civil lawsuits against Roper have already been settled.

The well-publicized truck accident has brought awareness to the issue of truck driver fatigue and also of the dangers of road construction zones. Now, going forward, the case may also highlight how celebrity and publicity can compromise a person's chance at a fair trial. 

The challenge of securing a fair trial arises in part out of the "trial by media" phenomenon, wherein information reported by the media about a case may make it to the ears of jurors even before the case goes to trial. In a court situation, some of the information reported by the media may not be admissible in court. But at the same time, if a juror knows that information anyway, it is thought that this could bias his or her decision. 

While most people involved in truck and other accidents are not celebrities, they need not be in order for a case to be subject to a high level of media attention. If you're involved in a criminal or civil case where you suspect intense publicity could influence the verdict, it's essential to speak with an experienced lawyer who can build your case in a way that will give you the best possible chance for a good outcome. 

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