Prosecutors Need to Create a Culture of Compliance

A recently released opinion by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Formal Opinion 467) sets out a directive for prosecutors in both managerial and supervisory positions to establish procedures that ensure lawyer and nonlawyer compliance with ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The Opinion discusses scenarios and obligations during those scenarios, which aim to guide the desired behavior from attorneys in key supervisory or managerial positions. The suggestions posited in the Opinion are dictated by relative size and structure of the office. Additionally, the Opinion suggests that attorneys incentivize, encourage, and reward compliance to lawyer and nonlawyer subordinates. Emphasizing ethics compliance in the hiring process will also help with issues that arise down the road.

Managers and supervisors should make ethics compliance part of the emphasized and encouraged culture of the office. An office should have a known and adhered-to system, which is enhanced through appropriate discipline, education, and sanctions.

For the opinion click here.

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