TSC Vacates BPR Formal Ethics Opinion on Disclosure - Articles

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Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Aug 23, 2019
In a recently released opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court vacated the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility’s Formal Ethics Opinion 2017-F-163, first released in March 2018, which provided guidance to prosecutors about ethical duties under Rule 3.8(d) — the statute covering a prosecutor’s ethical duties to disclose evidence or information tending to negate the guilt of the accused or to mitigate the offense. On January 15, the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference filed a petition to vacate the opinion. In its unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court considered other states’ interpretations of prosecutors’ ethical rules and ultimately agreed with the position that a prosecutor’s ethical duties should be coextensive with the prosecutor’s legal and constitutional obligations. Read the opinion, authored by Chief Justice Jeff Bivins.