Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new Professional Misconduct Review Unit (see press release) that will "handle disciplinary actions for career attorneys at the Department of Justice that arise from Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigations." The new chief of this unit is Kevin Ohlson. The press release states that "[t]he Professional Misconduct Review Unit (PMRU) will be responsible for all disciplinary and state bar referral actions relating to OPR findings of professional misconduct against career attorneys."
When a criminal defense attorney commits "intentional or reckless" professional misconduct, they can find themselves the subject of a bar disciplinary action. When a US Attorney or his or her assistant engages in such conduct, what happens? They are subject to the disciplinary rules, but there are few cases of prosecutor discipline. One has to wonder if this new review unit is an attempt to make sure that there are fewer disciplinary actions.
See also Mike Scarcella, BLT Blog, DOJ Creates Professional Misconduct Review Unit