Ethics Advisory Committee
The Ethics Advisory Committee is a ready source of timely information and guidance for NACDL members with ethics issues relating to their representation of persons accused of crime. NACDL members may contact the Ethics Advisory Committee for insight and guidance on ethical issues. All requests are handled in confidence. Written opinions may be available in some situations. For more information on ethics issues, including frequently asked questions, visit the Ethics Advisory Committee page.
NACDL's Ethics Committee provides formal ethics advice on relevant issues as circumstances require. Current formal ethics opinions are available below.
NACDL Ethics Opinions
- No. 13-01 - Merger of Federal Defender Computer Systems with Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (PDF)
- No. 12-02 - Plea Agreements Barring Collateral Attack (PDF)
- No. 12-01 - Disclosure of attorney-client privileged communications to third-party (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) (PDF)
- No. 08-01 - Informal Opinion on Representation at Crack Cocaine Resentencings (Word Document)
- No. 04-03 - Tape Recording Witness Without Third Party Present -- Not Unethical (PDF)
- No. 04-02 - Threat By Client Against Defense Counsel May Be Justification for Withdrawal (PDF)
- No. 04-01 - Disclosure of Client's Stated Intent to Harm Prosecutor
- No. 03-04 - Representation Before Military Commissions (PDF)
- No. 03-03 - Requirement for Defendant to "Check In" with Attorney (PDF)
- No. 03-01 - Attorney Time Sheets as Evidence (PDF)
- No. 02-01 - Monitored Jail Conversations (PDF)
- No. 95-01 - Prosecutor May Not Ethically Participate in Selection or Management of Public Defenders (PDF)
- No. 92-02 - Client Perjury (PDF)
- No. 90-03 - Client Expresses Intent to Commit Perjury Before Grand Jury (PDF)
- No. 90-02 - Identity of Client Who Is Legal Resident AlienAdditional Ethics Materials (PDF)
The Ethics Advisory Hotline is available to NACDL members for emergency situations. For assistance in such situations, please contact the committee co-chairs listed here: Ethics Advisory Committee Members.