Safeguarding Victim Privacy in a Digital World: Ethical Considerations for Prosecutors

Webinar Recording

Presented by Jane Anderson, Attorney Advisor and Meg Garvin, Executive Director & Clinical Professor of Law, National Crime Victim Law Institute

Victims of gender-based violence often disclose intimate details of their private lives and their victimization to multiple professionals over the course of a case. Furthermore, a victim’s cell phone, computer, or social media accounts may contain relevant evidence, which raises additional privacy concerns. Prosecutors have an obligation to provide to the defense all evidence in the government’s possession or control that is material to a defendant’s guilt or punishment. How can we fulfill that obligation, while at the same time safeguarding victim privacy against unnecessary disclosure? These cases present unique ethical challenges related to privacy and confidentiality, prosecutorial discretion, recantation, and disclosure of evidence.

This presentation will use hypothetical case scenarios to:

  • Address ethical considerations in the context of the investigative function of prosecutors, digital evidence, discovery obligations, and immunity;
  • Identify confidential, privileged, non-material, and/or irrelevant victim information and records;
  • Discuss threshold requirements for defense attempts to obtain information or for in camera review; and
  • Introduce pretrial and trial strategies that support the protection of victim privacy, including collaboration with allied professionals.

Allied justice system professionals including but not limited to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, probation and parole officers, judges, etc. are encouraged to view the webinar recording.

CLE Credits
This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for one (1.0) hour of continuing legal education credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Click here to view the May 18, 2017 webinar recording.

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