New Ethics Opinion Guides Prosecutors on Handling Internal Cases
State Bar of Michigan’s Standing Committee on Professional Ethics issued a new opinion offering guidance on how a prosecutor’s office should handle a case when one of its own employees or interns is charged with a crime.
“A prosecutor’s office should not represent the People when charges are brought against an employee or an intern who is employed within the prosecutor’s own office because there is an inherent conflict of interest,” the opinion, RI-389, reads. “To ensure the integrity of the prosecutor’s office and the criminal justice system, the prosecutor’s office should appoint a special prosecutor or request a transfer of the case to another county when charges are brought against an employee or an intern.”
The opinion cites MRPC 1.7 (b), which deals with conflicts of interest. The opinion also offers an example of such a case, Phillips v Ingham County, when a prosecutor’s office appointed a special prosecutor due to a conflict of interest.
You can read the full opinion here.
Posted: January 11, 2024