An Ethics Complaint Against Bill Barr Was Rejected, and It Has Lawyers Worried


Professor Bruce Green was quoted in The National Law Journal in an article on the rejected ethics complaint against former Attorney General William Barr.

Disciplinary counsel in Washington, D.C., last year declined to take up an ethics complaint against then-Attorney General William Barr in part due to the political conduct involved, an explanation that’s alarming lawyers behind the complaint and legal ethics experts alike.
The complaint against Barr, filed last year by 27 attorneys, including four former presidents of the D.C. Bar, documented four instances in which Barr was alleged to have violated ethics rules in the District, including his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s report and last year’s forced clearing of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square.
“Importantly, Mr. Barr, as our chief law enforcement officer, occupies a position that serves as a model for other lawyers, particularly government lawyers. Thus, serious ethical deviations on his part carry enormous consequences for our profession as a whole,” the complaint states.
“I think when you get a complaint about a lawyer, and a distinguished lawyer, and it comes from distinguished bar members who, based on public sources, say he lied or engaged in other misconduct, because it wasn’t just lies—to just say we’re not going to even open a file and we’re not going to look at it is kind of odd,” said Bruce Green, a legal ethics expert with Fordham University. Green said he advised those who drafted the complaint but did not sign it himself.

Read the full article.


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