Kempinen Assists with Petition Leading to Supreme Court Ethics Rule Revision

Posted:  2009.7.2

Clinical Professor Ben Kempinen, director of the Prosecution Project at the University of Wisconsin Law School, gave technical assistance to the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association in a successful petition to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin to adopt American Bar Association (ABA) rule changes that require prosecutors to act when informed of a wrongful conviction. The Supreme Court revised SCR 20:3.8 on June 17, 2009, to address the responsibilities of a prosecutor when evidence of a wrongful conviction becomes known.

The court's action, requested by state prosecutors and supported by the Department of Justice, Public Defender, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the UW Law School’s Frank J. Remington Center, makes Wisconsin the first state to change its ethics rules based on  new ABA Model Rules adopted in February 2009. 

The ABA’s new subsections (g) and (h) to Rule 3.8 were enacted in response to the increasing number of science-based exonerations across the nation.

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