NCLDB Member Spotlight
NCLDB is excited to spotlight its new members.
Joe Berman is the new General Counsel of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. He succeeds Michael Fredrickson, former president of NCLDB, who is now happily retired. Learn more about Joe HERE.
Susan Humiston recently became Director of Minnesota's Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. Learn more about Susan HERE.
Marianne J. Lee recently assumed the position of Executive Secretary/Chief Counsel of Maryland's Attorney Grievance Commission. Learn more about Marianne and her role at Maryland's Attorney Grievance Commission HERE.
The American Bar Association has published a "toolkit" for lawyer well-being, which can be accessed HERE.
Brady v. Maryland and Disciplinary Rules in District of Columbia and Texas
District of Columbia
When it comes to the prosecutor’s duty to provide exculpatory information, the U.S. Constitution and the District of Columbia’s Rules of Professional Conduct differ.
In 2015, the District of Columbia examined the issue of whether the failure to provide exculpatory evidence gave rise to an ethical violation under Rule 3.8(e) of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional conduct. In Re Andrew J. Kline, 113 A.3d 202 (D.C. 2015)
The US Supreme Court set forth the duties of a prosecutor in disclosing exculpatory evidence in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). Andrew Kline argued that his ethical duties were coextensive with those under Brady v. Maryland.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals disagreed but did not impose sanctions due to the conflicting interpretations of the duty under Rule 3.8(e). However, the court pointed out that future violations were likely to result in suspension.
The Board of Disciplinary Appeals issued its decision in Schultz v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline, 2015 WL 9855916 (Texas Bd. Disp. App. 55649, Dec. 17, 2015; no appeal) holding that the duty of a prosecutor to disclose to the defense information that “tends to negate the guilt of the accused” pursuant to Texas Disciplinary Rule of Professional Conduct 3.09(d) is not limited to “material” evidence under Brady v. Maryland and its progeny. Failure to disclose information tending to negate the guilt of the accused also violated TDRPC 3.04(a), the Board held, regardless of intent. The issue whether TDRPC 3.09(d) codified the constitutional duty imposed in Brady or was broader was a question of first impression in the Texas disciplinary system.
NOTE: North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade, 547 U.S. ___ (2015) bears watching to see if it will impact who is able to offer legal services. Ultimately companies offering alternatives to the traditional legal market may effect the disciplinary system’s ability to regulate and impose sanctions.
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