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Full-Text Articles in Law

Some Reflections On Ethics And Plea Bargaining: An Essay In Honor Of Fred Zacharias, R. Michael Cassidy Oct 2011

Some Reflections On Ethics And Plea Bargaining: An Essay In Honor Of Fred Zacharias, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

In this article the author explores what it means for a prosecutor to “do justice” in a plea bargaining context. Although the vast majority of criminal cases in the United States are resolved by guilty plea rather than by trial, ABA Model Rule 3.8, the special disciplinary rule applicable to prosecutors, has very little to say about plea bargaining. Scrutinizing the multiplicity of interests at stake in plea bargaining, the author suggests that a prosecutor’s primary objectives during negotiations should be efficiency, equality, autonomy, and transparency. After defining each of these terms, the author identifies several troublesome and recurring practices …


Why I Teach (A Prescription For The Post-Tenure Blues), R. Michael Cassidy Oct 2011

Why I Teach (A Prescription For The Post-Tenure Blues), R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

In this brief essay from a collection of articles designed to demonstrate the scope and breadth of issues in legal pedagogy, Professor Michael Cassidy explores an important psychological event for many in the legal academy - the post-tenure blues. He offers reasons to keep doing what we do - teach with joy, inspiration and a sense of purpose for the next generation. He encourages us to think of our own reasons for what keeps us going in an occupation that many of us think is one of the best in the world.


Character And Context: What Virtue Theory Can Teach Us About A Prosecutor's Ethical Duty To "Seek Justice.", R. Michael Cassidy Oct 2011

Character And Context: What Virtue Theory Can Teach Us About A Prosecutor's Ethical Duty To "Seek Justice.", R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

A critical issue facing the criminal justice system today is how best to promote ethical behavior by public prosecutors. The legal profession has left much of a prosecutor’s day-to-day activity unregulated, in favor of a general, catch-all admonition to “seek justice.” In this article the author argues that professional norms are truly functional only if those working with a given ethical framework recognize the system’s implicit dependence on character. A code of professional conduct in which this dependence is not recognized is both contentless and corrupting. Building on the ethics of Aristotle and modern philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre and Bernard Williams, …


Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy Oct 2011

Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s decision in Williams, in which the Court struck down an attempt by the Tenth Circuit to impose an obligation on federal prosecutors to disclose substantial exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. The author discusses the contours of this case and the ethical underpinnings of a prosecutor’s disclosure obligations before the grand jury, and sets forth a new framework for consideration of such issues.


The Prosecutor And The Press: Lessons (Not) Learned From The Mike Nifong Debacle, R. Michael Cassidy Oct 2011

The Prosecutor And The Press: Lessons (Not) Learned From The Mike Nifong Debacle, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

Using the Mike Nifong disciplinary case in North Carolina as a focal point, the author examines the disciplinary rules pertaining to public speech by attorneys during the pendency of an adjudicatory proceeding. The author argues that in light of the Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, certain provisions of Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules 3.6 and 3.8, may violate the first amendment, at least as applied to an elected prosecutor speaking during a political campaign. While former District Attorney Nifong made several statements to the media during the so-called “Duke Lacrosse” investigation that were …


Prosecutorial Ethics, R. Michael Cassidy May 2011

Prosecutorial Ethics, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

No abstract provided.


Plea Bargaining, Discovery, And The Intractable Problem Of Impeachment Disclosures, R. Michael Cassidy Dec 2010

Plea Bargaining, Discovery, And The Intractable Problem Of Impeachment Disclosures, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

In a criminal justice system where guilty pleas are the norm and trials the rare exception, the issue of how much discovery a defendant is entitled to before allocution has immense significance. This article examines the scope of a prosecutor’s obligation to disclose impeachment information before a guilty plea. This question has polarized the criminal bar and bedeviled the academic community since the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in United States v. Ruiz (2002). A critical feature of the debate has been the enduring schism between a prosecutor’s legal and ethical obligations – a gulf that the American Bar Association recently …