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.

Bill Montgomery
Maricopa County Attorney

Training

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.

Ethical Conduct

Prosecutors are bound by ethical rules established by the State Bar of Arizona. These include:

Professional Standards

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
  • Truthfulness
  • Honesty
  • Fairness

Procedural Rules

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 documents

Prosecutorial Ethics

A Presentation by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys Advisory Council

Setting the Record Straight on Prosecutorial Misconduct

A report issued by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association

The California Prosecutor: Integrity, Independence, Leadership

California District Attorneys Association response to the Innocence Project Veritas Initiative

National District Attorneys Association Addresses Exonerations

A response to a report by the National Registry of Exonerations


Recent Cases