ABA Formal Opinion 467: New guidance for prosecutors

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has continued to review the conduct of prosecutors, both under the Model Rules and the constitutional standards set by Brady. The ABA has now issued a new Formal Opinion 467, called Managerial and Supervisory Obligations of Prosecutors under Rules 5.1 and 5.3. This Opinion clarifies that prosecutors may have additional duties under 5.1 and 5.3 to supervise and manage the attorneys in their offices. The opinion notes that in some instances the duties to take appropriate remedial action under 5.1 and 5.3 may be broader than what Model Rule 3.8 currently requires. The Formal Opinion also discusses standards for establishing office-wide policies and training (including ethical obligations.)  Further, the ABA recommends creating a “culture of compliance” and the impact of Rule 1.13 on governmental offices including those of the Prosecutors.

This opinion is an important supplement to Chapter 7 materials for students and teachers alike, and I will be tackling this with my class in the weeks ahead.