New York Federal Criminal Practice Blog
April 28, 2010

Lawyers in the Dock - Roundtable Discussion at the New York City Bar, April 29, 2010 - Free CLE Ethics Credit

As this blog has often pointed out (see here and here), the investigation and prosecution of lawyers for their lawyering is different.  Because these cases carry the potential to chill creative and zealous advocacy, they merit special precautions and scrutiny.  In fact, the ABA includes several recommendations in its "Standards on Prosecutorial Investigations" on how defense counsel should be prosecuted, including noting that "the prosecutor’s office should protect against the use of false allegations as a means of harassment or abuse that may impact the independence of the defense counsel or the Constitutionally protected right to counsel."  (Click here for the complete set of standards.).  That's not to say that lawyers should get a free pass with the claim that their conduct was mere advocacy (see here for Professor Gillers' tough comments on lawyers who hide behind their advocate status), but the line between ethical advocacy and criminal conduct can be a fine one and in the eye of the beholder.    

This fascinating issue will be the subject of a roundtable discussion at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York tomorrow evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Conceived and organized by this blog author, on behalf of the Criminal Law and Professional Responsibility Committees, it features Gerald Shargel, Daniel Alonso, Barry Bohrer, AUSA Jon Kolodner and Professor Ellen Yaroshefsky.  It will be moderated by the Hon. Carol Bagley Amon of the Eastern District of New York.  For good measure, the program is free and offers two CLE credits in ethics.  There is still time to register (see here), but space is filling up fast!

Update [May 12, 2010]: The New York Law Journal has this report on the debate.

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