NACDL President Gerald B. Lefcourt's written statement to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Commerce, Justice and State, and the Judiciary regarding adequate funding for defense services at every level and other measures to prevent prosecutorial abuse, all addressed in the Citizens Protection Act of 1998 (H.R. 3396).
Brief of Amicus curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Legal Ethics Professors and Legal Ethics Practitioners In Support of Respondent.
Argument: Advisory Ethics Opinion E-435 does not conflict with controlling federal law. Federal statutes, regulations, and court rules recognize the lawyer conduct ethics rules of this state. Opinion E-435 correctly concludes that waiver of ineffective assistance claims at a guilty plea create a conflict of interest for the defense lawyer that the prosecutor cannot impose on a pleading defendant. Conclusion: “Kentucky Ethics Op. E-435 is a correct statement of the controlling ethical principles and does not conflict with any law. The governing of lawyer conduct is completely within the power of the State, and federal prosecutors are bound by the State’s ethics rules under 28 U.S.C. §530b. This ethics opinion governs the conduct of prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys who practice in the state courts of Kentucky as well in the federal courts in Kentucky. Therefore, the U.S. Attorney’s brief of United States in Support of Motion for Review of Ethics Opinion should be rejected and the ethics opinion as written should be affirmed.”