Features - Criminal Justice Ethics Sources on the Internet

By Ken Strutin, Published on October 15, 2005

Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider's Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA's Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who's Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal.


Criminal justice ethics is multifaceted and spans many professional and disciplinary boundaries. This bibliography focuses on the Internet sources of codes, ethical opinions and other materials governing the conduct of legal professionals, and collections with links to codes for other professionals in the criminal justice system.

Ethics Collections and Finding Aids Lawyer Codes of Professional Conduct Court Rules Criminal Defense Ethics
Criminal Justice Ethics Prosecution Ethics Judicial Ethics Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Legal Ethics Hotlines Legal Ethics Attorneys and Experts Current Awareness Databases and Other Internet Sources
Further Reading      

Ethics Collections and Finding Aids           

These sources include bar association center publications, library finding aids, and academic resources. They are listed here because they collect primary materials (codes, opinions, and analytical material) or provide guidance in locating them.


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Lawyer Codes of Professional Conduct                                          

Researchers can find quick access to the black letter ABA Code, Model Rules and state codes online, as well as codes from other states.

Court Rules                                                                                        

Appellate courts have adopted rules governing attorney conduct, and the procedures for disciplinary actions and filing grievances. Many of these rules and procedures can be found on court websites and bar association sources.


Criminal Defense Ethics                                                                    

Some ethics opinions concerning criminal defense practice can be found in the general sources noted above. Standards, resolutions, reports and other materials can be found on national and local public defense organization and bar association websites.





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Criminal Justice Ethics        

These are collections of codes and standards that apply to defense attorneys, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals. In these sources, you will find links to ethical standards for police, correction officers, forensic experts and related research materials on ethical issues.


Prosecution Ethics

Sources of ethical rules for prosecutors are grounded in the lawyer codes enacted in the states and by various agency regulations. Court decisions are also a fruitful research tool to find materials concerning breaches of ethical codes and rules.


Judicial Ethics                                                                                    

Rules and opinions concerning judicial conduct can be found on many of the lawyer ethics sites, and through some specific collections.


Paralegals and Legal Assistants

There are several codes of conduct for paralegals that are general in scope, and adopted by many local associations. These codes compliment requirements found in other sources.


Legal Ethics Hotlines                                                                         

These services are based in bar associations and usually free, otherwise there might be a charge or membership requirement. Many local and specialized bar associations have hotlines, whose contact information can be located through their websites.

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Legal Ethics Attorneys and Experts                                                

Attorneys specializing in ethics issues and academics who teach professional responsibility are valuable resources. Practitioners can be located through bar associations and lawyer directories, academics through faculty directories and course web pages.

Current Awareness                                                                           

In addition to monitoring the relevant sources above, updating services for legal ethics include newsletters, listservs and blogs.


Databases and Other Internet Sources                                            

Commercial databases and other web sources contain archived ethics rules and opinions, case law, reports, guides and other materials related to the conduct of criminal justice professionals.


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Further Reading

This is a collection of materials about conducting legal ethics research in print and online sources. It also includes specific titles on criminal defense, prosecution and judicial ethics. Links to the full-text of articles are provided where available, as well as the publishers' websites for various treatises.

Researching Legal Ethics


Legal Ethics in General

Legal Ethics Journals

Criminal Defense Ethics


Judicial Ethics

Legal Assistants Ethics


Prosecutorial Misconduct



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