A clash between the U.S. Justice Department and the D.C. Office of Bar Counsel over a former federal prosecutor’s alleged ethics transgression is playing out in front of a Washington attorney ethics board.
Andrew Kline, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, is challenging an ethics committee’s conclusion in March that he didn’t play by the rules in a shooting case when he kept certain information to himself that the victim had earlier provided to police.
The Justice Department is backing Kline in the dispute, pending before the D.C. Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility. DOJ lawyers argue that the hearing committee too broadly interpreted a prosecution conduct rule, opening the door for ethics cases and “unwarranted sanctions” against prosecutors. Kline is no longer in government service.
The D.C. Office of Bar Counsel this month filed a response to Kline and DOJ, which submitted an amicus brief in the case supporting the former assistant U.S. attorney. You can read bar counsel’s brief here and the DOJ brief here.
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DOJ, D.C. Bar Counsel at Odds in Ethics Case Against Ex-Prosecutor