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NACDL News: NACDL Adopts Ethics Opinion Concerning Plea Agreements Barring Collateral Attack
By Ivan J. Dominguez
NACDL News columns.
At its fall board meeting in New Orleans, La., on Oct. 27, 2012, NACDL’s Board of Directors adopted Formal Opinion 12-02 concerning plea agreements barring collateral attack. According to the opinion, “NACDL’s Ethics Advisory Committee, as well as the Strike Force and other committees, have again received several queries regarding a requirement in some federal plea agreements that bar collateral attacks on convictions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.” It sets forth that the question presented is “whether it is ethical for criminal defense lawyers to participate in such a plea agreement in the absence of an express exclusion for claims based on ineffective assistance of counsel.” The Ethics Advisory Committee opinion, as adopted by NACDL’s Board of Directors, reflects the determination that “it is not” ethical and that NACDL also believes “that prosecutors may not ethically propose or require such a waiver.” Formal Opinion 12-02 is available in the Resource Center section of NACDL’s
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