Developing Standards of Conduct for Prosecutors and Criminal Defense Lawyers
19 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2011
In the Fall of 2010, in conjunction with the ABA Criminal Justice Section, more than a dozen law schools hosted conversations among lawyers, academics and judges regarding prosecutors’ and defense lawyers’ professional conduct. The conversations took, as their starting point, proposed revisions to the ABA Criminal Justice Standards for Prosecution and Defense Functions. As background to the discussions, law professors prepared sixteen papers addressing different aspects of lawyers’ professional conduct in criminal cases. Two journals, the Hastings Law Review and the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, are publishing them. This foreword to the collections begins by offering some thoughts on the nature of the questions of professional conduct encountered by prosecutors and defense lawyers and the value of developing sets of national standards like those of the ABA to offer these lawyers guidance. It also describes the project that led to the development of the sixteen articles and the objectives of the project, and offers some reflections about the value of viewing individual Standards in relationship to the underlying law, lawyers’ differing roles, and each other.
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