Ethical Issues in Criminal Practice   [Archived Catalog]
2017-2018 School of Law Bulletin

LAWS 847 - Ethical Issues in Criminal Practice

Credits: 2

This workshop will study the ethical issues faced by prosecutors and defense counsel in criminal practice. Although many of the same Rules of Professional Conduct that govern civil litigation also apply to criminal cases, constitutional rights and duties often require that they be applied differently than in civil cases. In addition, there are particular provisions in the Rules of Professional Conduct that only apply in criminal cases, including the rules governing prosecutors. Our understanding of the special role of the prosecutor and the prosecutor's duty to seek justice may create prosecutorial duties, as do constitutional rights of persons accused of crime and constitutional duties of, and restraints upon, the government. The workshop will meet once a week for two hours. Students will read assigned laws, rules, cases, and analytical materials and will discuss those readings in class. In addition, the class will study cases that illustrate the problems - and often the injustice - that may flow from violations of the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct and constitutional mandates. Experienced prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges will share their experiences and insights with the class. Written assignments will be based on the kinds of issues lawyers face in criminal practice and the types of work product lawyers have to create in dealing with those issues in their practice.

Prerequisites: Professional Responsibility or Problems in Professional Responsibility

Basis of Grade: Class participation and written projects

Form of Grade: Letter