The public comments by Michael B. Nifong, the Durham district attorney violated the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct when he started to release malicious and false information to the media regarding a pending case. This is the case involving a stripper who filed a complaint against three Duke Lacrosse players and accused them of gang-raping her during one of the team’s parties. Mr. Nifong made statements before news media when he suggested to the reporters that a condom was used during the attack based on the sexual assault examination report that was in his possession (Barstow and Wilson, 2006). The state bar in North Carolina viewed Nifong’s comments as highly unethical for giving out impropriate commentary to the public regarding the defendants and any evidence that may affect the outcome of the case. As a lawyer, Nifong employed fraud, misrepresentation, dishonesty, and deceit when he made those malicious imputations and disclosed information regarding material evidence, which should have been instead kept in confidentiality.
Pursuant to Rule 1.6 of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, every lawyer must maintain in confidence all information obtained in the professional relationship with his client, which include any information that will caused embarrassment or will be detrimental to the client, unless the latter has given his informed consent, to the exception of disclosures that the law has authorized or ordered by the Court to be disclosed. At the same time, the comments he made in public when regarded the members of the lacrosse team to be “a bunch of hooligans” is a violation of the ethics rules since such statement has the tendency to increase “public condemnation” of the three Duke Lacrosse players, who were the accused in this case (Barstow and Wilson, 2006). As a public prosecutor, Nitong should have remained impartial and unbiased comments during his media interviews by not making derogatory remarks against the accused.
Barstow, D. and Wilson, D. (2006). Prosecutor in Duke Case Faces Ethics Complaint. NewYork
Times.com. Web. October 6, 2013, Retrieved from,
Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (After 2001). State Bar of Georgia. Web. October 6, 2013. Retrieved from, http://www.gabar.org/barrules/georgia-rules-of-professional-conduct.cfm.