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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


New Jersey Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct

Comment - Rule 3.8

The Court has varied paragraph (c) of the recommendation of the Debevoise Committee to conform more closely to decisional law. The Committee's report recommended without comment the adoption of Model Rule 3.8 as proposed by the ABA. The Kutak Commission emphasized in its recommendation the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Standards Relating to the Prosecution Function and the Defense Function, "The Prosecution Function," 3-3.2 (2d Tent. Draft 1979), citing generally United States v. Callabrass, 458 F.Supp. 964 (S.D.N.Y.1978). That case dealt with an agent's interrogation of a defendant after arrest on an indictment. The court found the claimed waiver of counsel ineffective and emphasized that more than a Miranda warning regarding waiver is required since Sixth Amendment rights are involved, not just Fifth Amendment rights. In addition, it appeared that the defendant was represented by counsel, although this was unknown to the agent. The court questioned whether it is ever proper for a government lawyer to initiate questioning of an indicted defendant who is known to be represented, citing Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201, 12 L.Ed.2d 246 (1964). See also State v. McCloskey, 90 N.J. 18 (1982) (once a defendant has invoked the right to counsel, law enforcement officers may not initiate attempts to obtain waiver of the claim of counsel).

Taken in light of these references, the Court views the Kutak Commission as properly focusing on those circumstances in which the right to counsel attaches as a matter of law or request. Preindictment consent to search or interrogation does not invoke the same Sixth Amendment concerns. Limiting ethical proscription to the waiver of post-indictment pretrial rights such as Wade hearings or discovery will accord with a lawyer's general duty to an unrepresented adversary. The Court trusts that prosecutors are equally conscious of the Kutak Commission's observation that "[s]eeking a waiver from an unrepresented defendant often will have adverse consequences for both the defendant, who may lose important protections, and the criminal justice system, which becomes immersed in costly, time-consuming appeals," and will only do so when satisfied that the waiver is knowing, voluntary and intelligent.