Margaret A. Cotoia

Assistant Attorney General Margaret A. Cotoia is the Director of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, which provides continuing legal education programs that meet the practice needs of New Jersey government lawyers. Margaret maintains overall responsibility for over 150 programs a year, recruiting instructors and developing curriculum for the AGAI’s lecture programs, supervising litigation…

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“Lawful Investigative Activities,” Pretext, and Rule 8.4(c) of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct

There are important considerations to ensure a lawyer’s oversight complies with local ethics rules. This article addresses Colorado’s rule and provides practical considerations for lawyers to consider in conducting their own such investigations.

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Ethics Corner: The Nation’s Prosecutors Uphold Their Sworn Oaths

Many law review articles insist that overzealous prosecutors, intentionally or negligently exceeding the scope of their legitimate authority. This article argues that there is virtually no empirical support for this proposition, and the evidence supports the conclusion that prosecutorial misconduct occurs with admirable infrequency.

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Ethics Corner: Prosecutors and PowerPoints

With courts embracing the use of modern technology during trials, prosecutors have turned to PowerPoints in closing arguments to summarize the evidence presented to the jury. The Ethics Corner summarizes cases where appellate courts found that prosecutors had committed professional misconduct in those presentations and gives practice points as to how prosecutors might use presentations ethically and effectively.

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What McDonnell v. United States Means for State Corruption Prosecutors

When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Robert McDonnell v. United States nearly two years ago, it announced a new standard for cases involving a federal bribery statute. This first article of a two-part series examines how state courts have construed McDonnell and provides some practical tips for prosecutors to consider when investigating, charging, and trying corruption cases that may help avoid McDonnell issues.

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Presidential Council Issues Report Arguing that Ballistics Testimony Should Not be Admitted as Evidence

On Sept. 19, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a report titled "Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods.". This article introduces PCAST and provides an overview of the 174-page report and its recommendations to judges across the nation.

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Ethics Corner – To Blog or Not to Blog

This is an ongoing column exploring various ethical topics relevant to attorneys general and other government attorneys. Look for the Ethics Corner in each issue of the quarterly NAGTRI Journal.

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