The district attorney who abused his office to prosecute Duke lacrosse players for a rape that never happened said today, in his trial on ethics charges, that he will resign his office. 

He apologized "[t]o the extent my actions have brought disrepute to the bar".  Story here.

To the extent?  To the extent!

So much of civil society depends on mutual trust.  For lawyers, trust by non-lawyers turns on how well we try to serve the cause of justice.

Professors drilled into us during our first year in law school that no lawyer, as lawyer, wields more power for good or ill than the prosecutor.  We can and should expect more from him or her than minimal compliance with rules, ethical and otherwise.  We have a right to expect exemplary behavior.

Michael B. Nifong betrayed our trust.  Today he offered to resign his position as district attorney of Durham County, North Carolina.  Not enough; not even close.  He should also turn in his bar card.

Barry Barnett

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