Board Resolution ~ 02/07/1998(2)

Denouncing Possible Ethical Violations by the Office of Independent Counsel

Resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Denouncing Possible Ethical Violations by the Office of Independent Counsel 

Puerto Rico

February 7, 1998

WHEREAS, Rule 4.2 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted by nearly all of the nation's federal and state courts, has long prohibited attorneys from initiating unauthorized contacts with persons who are represented by counsel; and

WHEREAS, the rule seeks to preserve the attorney-client relationship and to protect represented persons from unfair, unjust and unethical government overreaching; and

WHEREAS, appellate courts and lawyer disciplinary authorities have decided that federal prosecutors (which includes those in the office of the Independent Counsel) must comply with these ethical standards; and

WHEREAS, recent news reports have suggested that the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr may have flagrantly violated these respected ethical rules by unauthorized communication with a represented person in a manner that could be considered intimidating, coercive and threatening, and which could promote the use of unreliable evidence; and

WHEREAS, such conduct, whether by the Office of Independent Counsel or other prosecutors, imperils the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship and jeopardizes our adversary system of criminal justice;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers denounces any such violations of the ethical rules which govern the conduct of all lawyers, and calls upon the Office of the Independent Counsel and all other prosecutors to abide by those ethical rules and to respect the due process rights of all citizens.

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