The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute
Investigative Techniques for the 21st Century Prosecutor
This comprehensive course introduces prosecutors to using electronic data—from online social media to wiretaps to pole cams to cellphone searches—in their investigations and trials. While the course is designed with the corruption prosecutor in mind, it will be of use to all prosecutors who want to take a more active role in shaping a complicated investigation by harnessing cutting-edge technology.
Follow the Money; Look for the Lies: How to Investigate Financial Frauds
Financial investigations are a necessary component of many corruption prosecutions. In this course, prosecutors will learn more about forensic accounting and document analysis, and the proper use of CTRs, SARs, and other FinCEN tools. The course will also address common ethical and strategic issues in parallel civil and criminal investigations. While this course is developed with the corruption prosecutor in mind, it will be useful for those involved in the investigation and prosecution of white-collar crimes and civil enforcement actions.
Charging Decisions in Corruption Cases
From whether to file a civil enforcement action to when to use RICO in a criminal case, charging decisions in corruption cases require thoughtful analyses and the exercise of discretion. This course is designed for prosecutors who have criminal and/or civil enforcement power.
The Corruption Trial
Trials in corruption cases pose special challenges and opportunities. This four-day course addresses issues of jury selection and nullification; tips for organizing a complicated trial; the mechanics of cross-examining an elected official; common defenses; addressing publicity in the high-profile trial while protecting the integrity of the case; and crafting a compelling jury addresses. While it is geared to the corruption prosecutor, this course may be useful for anyone prosecuting complicated criminal trials.
Managing a Complex Criminal Case
This course addresses, from investigation through appeal, challenges posted by a complex criminal case, primarily through the lens of corruption prosecutions. Topics will include: strategic and ethical issues in a grand jury investigation; approaches to charging multiple defendants; best practices in organizing and disclosing discovery; and trial logistics.
No Angels Here: Flipping, Debriefing, Pleading Out, and Calling Cooperating Witnesses and Confidential Informants to the Stand
As the jury argument goes, “if you prosecute the devil, you have to go to hell for your witnesses.” Confidential informants and cooperating witnesses can play important roles in criminal investigations and trials. What should prosecutors working with CIs or CWs do to make sure they discharge their ethical obligations and build the best possible case? This course will include guidance about securing the witness’s testimony and ensuring that the witness doesn’t get a “free pass” for criminal conduct, and how to handle the witness at trial. These questions are addressed through the lens of a corruption prosecution, but are generally applicable to other cases including CIs or CWs. Materials will include sample proffer and cooperation agreements.
Working With Others: Building and Maintaining Relationships with Local and/ or Federal Prosecutors in the Corruption Case
Joint investigations allow the pooling of resources and can ensure that targets are prosecuted in the venue(s) that can best hold them accountable. But additional logistical and ethical issues may arise in cases involving multiple offices. This course provides guidance about best practices for working with your federal and local counterparts, including getting evidence from other government agencies and employees, how to ensure you comply with discovery and Brady issues in criminal cases, and avoiding potential pitfalls in parallel civil and criminal proceedings.
Investigating, Charging, and Trying Racketeering Cases
More than 30 states have racketeering or organized crime laws that allow for some combination of civil and criminal enforcement power, and often contain robust forfeiture provisions. This course covers: common investigative techniques in racketeering cases, such as wiretaps; factors to consider when deciding between civil actions and criminal charges; practical and ethical forfeiture issues; and special challenges in the racketeering trial, including how to break down the elements of an often complex statute to a lay jury.
Discovery and Brady Issues Complex Criminal Cases
This course provides guidance for organizing and providing discovery in complex criminal cases, with a special emphasis and Brady and ethical requirements. In recent decisions, judges have that lawyers’ ethical guidelines contain no “materiality” limitation, unlike Brady and its progeny. This course will help prosecutors navigate this shifting legal landscape.
Prosecutor as Investigator: Ethical Issues
This two-day course provides guidance for prosecutors actively involved in investigations. Prosecutors can provide invaluable assistance in shaping complex investigations by recommending investigative steps, drafting search warrants and wiretaps, assisting in the review and analysis of data, and participating in witness interviews. But this expanded role may reduce immunity from absolute to qualified, and requires prosecutors to be sensitive to ethical limitations imposed on lawyers when, among other things, the investigation involves the use of deception.
Prosecuting Elected Officials and Judges: Ethical Issues
Investigating and trying members of the legislature requires prosecutors to be sensitive to speech and debate privileges. In cases involving judges, prosecutors must be sensitive to judicial privileges; in those involving lawyers, attorney-client privilege. This course provides an in-depth look at the various privilege issues—and offers guidance so prosecutors can design an investigation that takes them into consideration.
Ethical Issues in the Sprawling/ Multi-Jurisdictional Case
While joint investigations provide the opportunity to pool resources and ensure defendants are held fully accountable for their crimes, a prosecutor’s “imputed knowledge” for Brady purposes concomitantly expands to include information known by every member of that investigation. This course provides guidance to help prosecutors ensure they comply with discovery, Brady, and ethics rules in multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency cases.
Targets and Timing in High Profile Cases: Ethical Issues
Should a prosecutor consider the real-world implications of how charging a politician may impact an election? If a target’s family members played a minor role in a fraud scheme, should they be charged alongside the primary target? These questions and others will be part of this two-day long training.
Media Issues in the High-Profile Case
High-profile cases may attract a great deal of media attention. Primarily through the lens of a prosecutor’s ethical obligations, this course considers issues ranging from leaks during the investigation, to FOIA requests, to common-sense ways to shield witnesses from being mobbed at the courthouse.
Civil Ethics: Issues and Solutions for Government Attorney
This course will address pressing ethical issues facing civil government attorneys. Topics addressed will include: the sometimes complicated question of “who is the client?”; managing and advising that client in a manner that is both candid and effective; maintaining professionalism and credibility in your personal use of social media; and ethical issues facing attorneys who manage other attorneys.