Despite public perception that lawyers are not held accountable for their actions, State Bar disciplinary committees have historically kept our profession in line. Of course, the Duke University debacle starring now disgraced and disbarred prosecutor Mike Nifong, is currently the most notable. His flagrant zealous and dishonest prosecution of three Duke University Lacrosse Team Members appears to have been for his own political gain. Several stories are currently in the news breaking out in excruciating detail the havoc that he wreaked on the innocent players, their families, Duke University and more. Interesting articles abound on the net and here are links to just a few: MSNBC, Newsday.com, AM New York, Wall Street Journal which also includes a link to the actual North Carolina State Bar Complaint against Nifong, and Reuters.
Prosecutorial Disbarments in the Past
Mike Nifong is not the only prosecutor to go down in disgrace. It is important, in my opinion, to note that the State Bar Associations throughout the United States take attorney ethical violations very seriously and act accordingly upon them. Here is a smattering of previous disbarments, along with links to relevant articles:
California: 1998, Former Prosecutor Disbarred After Setting DA’s Office on Fire
California: 2003, Former Orange County Prosecutor Disbarred For Drug Trafficking
New York: 2005, Ex-Prosecutor Suspended for Misleading Trial Court (for lying to a judge about the whereabouts of a witness in a murder trial he was conducting three years ago). Also discussed in David Feige’s Blogspot
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Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100