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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Selected Works

R. Michael Cassidy

Plea bargaining

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

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 …


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, …