Prosecutorial Ethics & Professional Standards
Every new prosecutor in Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is personally sworn in by me and later presented with a card containing these powerful words from Berger v. United States. This statement not only describes the unique role a prosecutor plays in our criminal justice system, it also reflects the expectations I have for our Deputy County Attorneys and the standard to which they are held. Our commitment to the residents of Maricopa County is to pursue justice ethically and with the highest integrity and professionalism.
Maricopa County Attorney
All incoming attorneys receive extensive training on ethical rules, professional standards and Rules of Criminal Procedure which guarantee a defendant’s right to due process, protect the rights of victims of crime, and contribute to the public’s confidence in our criminal justice system. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office also provides more than 100 hours of Continuing Legal Education on these issues each year for support staff, paralegals and attorneys.
Prosecutors are bound by ethical rules established by the State Bar of Arizona. These include:
- Rule 3.1: Meritorious Claims and Contentions
- Rule 3.2: Expediting Litigation
- Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal
- Rule 3.4: Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel
- Rule 3.5: Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal
- Rule 3.6: Trial Publicity
- Rule 3.7: Lawyer as Witness
- Rule 3.8: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
- Rule 3.9: Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings
In addition to the State Bar of Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, prosecutors in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office are expected at all times to comport themselves in court and the community in a manner that upholds the following ideals:
- Personal Integrity
Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rules of Evidence require prosecutors to uphold the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial and to pursue justice on behalf of victims of crime and our community. A complete and current list of these rules is available from the Arizona Supreme Court.
Relevant articles & supporting documentsProsecutorial Ethics Setting the Record Straight on Prosecutorial Misconduct The California Prosecutor: Integrity, Independence, Leadership National District Attorneys Association Addresses Exonerations
Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Selects MCAO as High Performance Prosecution Mentor Site
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will serve as a mentor to other prosecution agencies in several critical practice areas as part of an innovative program developed by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.