Ethics and the Criminal Law Attorney

(861 Ratings)

Produced on: September 07, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 93 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

The ethical rules for attorneys can be particularly thorny for criminal law practitioners. What are the ethical considerations around a prosecutor’s charging decisions? If a prosecutor has exculpatory information, must that information be disclosed, and if so, when? Can a defense attorney put a witness on the stand that the attorney believes will perjure himself? What if that witness is his client?

This course, co-presented by current federal prosecutor Zach Intrater and former federal prosecutor turned defense attorney Lee Vartan of Holland & Knight, will explore the ethical questions that criminal practitioners, on both sides of the aisle, face every day. These quandaries will be considered in light of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Department of Justice policies, and case law. These sources may at times provide conflicting advice, and this course will provide guidance on how best to navigate those conflicts without running afoul of ethics rules.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify typical ethics questions facing federal prosecutors versus typical ethics questions facing criminal defense attorneys
  2. Consider how best to navigate those questions in light of Department of Justice guidance (for prosecutors), caselaw, and ethics rules
  3. Discuss why ethics questions - and answering them correctly - are so critical to the smooth functioning of the criminal justice system


Lee Vartan

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC

Lee Vartan is a member of the firm's White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations, Litigation and Privacy and Data Security groups.

Lee represents companies and individuals in both criminal and civil regulatory investigations and prosecutions by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and state attorneys general. Lee is also an experienced trial attorney, having tried nearly a dozen federal jury trials in New Jersey and New York.

Immediately prior to joining the firm, Lee was a partner in the New York office of an international law firm. Before that, he had a distinguished, seven-year career in federal and state government service. From 2007 to 2011, Lee served as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. While serving as a federal prosecutor, he successfully tried a number of white collar and cyber cases to verdict, including money laundering cases, securities fraud, racketeering, computer intrusion, and mail, wire, and bank fraud. 

In 2011, Lee served in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s counsel’s office, advising the governor and senior administration officials on policy and legislation. He was elevated to chief of staff to the New Jersey attorney general and then served as executive assistant attorney general. 

As the executive assistant attorney general, Lee managed the day-to-day activities for the 8,100-person Department of Law and Public Safety including supervision of the New Jersey State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, Division of Gaming Enforcement and Division of Consumer Affairs. For the Division of Criminal Justice, he oversaw hundreds of investigations and prosecutions involving healthcare fraud, financial fraud, securities fraud and public corruption. For the Division of Gaming Enforcement, he managed the implementation of New Jersey's Internet gaming law and the licensing of both Internet gaming providers and “brick-and-mortar” casinos. Lee also served as New Jersey's liaison to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), where he was responsible for determining New Jersey's participation in multi-state, attorney general-led enforcement actions in the areas of data privacy, consumer fraud and off-label prescription drug marketing.

Lee also served for several years as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law School, where he taught a course on the investigation and prosecution of federal cybercrimes.


  • Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2003)
  • Princeton University (B.A., cum laude, 2000)


  • New Jersey
  • New York

Zach Intrater

United States Department of Justice

Zach Intrater is an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey. He is currently the Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit and theComputer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division. He previously served at both the Chief and the Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Unit. Zach graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Art History, and received his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Before becoming an AUSA, Zach was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and clerked for the Honorable Berle M. Schiller of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Honorable Michael A. Chagares of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.


Komron J.


Lee F.

Outstanding CLE. Most useful CLE I have had in years.

Michael A.

This was a superb presentation. Both presenters worked extremely well together. I hope that they do many more as a team.

Richard S.

I liked the ease of downloading and how user-friendly the website was. I will continue to use Lawline in the future.

Mary Lou S.

Good Speakers

charles c.

Very humorous and exceptional

leon s.

Much enjoyed both perspectives.

James O.


Sandhya C.

Great speakers with vast knowledge of the subject matter.

leigh p.

nice banter - great to have both perspectives of criminal law

Adam L.

I liked the presenters.

James R.

This course was in an excellent format with to discussants going back and forth with offering differing perspectives. I was a very enjoyable and educational CLE experience.

Antoine F.

great job and great information

Kristen S.

Great cle

Dan P.

I enjoyed the back-and-forth between prosecutor and defense attorney. I found it informative and entertaining which is great for an ethics CLE.

Christa J.

Very enjoyable and informative.

Darrell R. J.

A dynamic duo! Bring them back for an encore.

Robert K.

Excellent dual perspectives

Belinda B.

Discussed important and difficult issues

John K.

Great practical, as well as theoretical discussion of the ethical issues of criminal practice.

Shellie S.

Excellent presentation — the faculty had a cogent back-and-forth about the nature of zealous advocacy, the role of the prosecutors as extensions of the government that ostensibly protects citizens, and substantial ethical questions that defense lawyers must grapple with.

Salvatore M. L.

very good course

Richard W.

Excellent program.

Robert S.

Great panelists.

Rosemary R.


Mattie A.


Marc K.

Really Enjoyed the Two Presenters and the difference in points of view on some of the issues from both perspectives

James W.

I usually give high marks to Lawline presenters, but these guys really earned them. They were not the least bit stuffy and both offered levity, something many presenters do not.

Mikhail U.

Great Course

Louis B.


Danny G.

It's nice to see the Prosecutor's side.

Tyler R.

Best LAWLINE course I have heard by far. Much more nuisance and accuracy. Terrific

Steven R.

Very good presentation.

Brian A.

This was my favorite CLE yet. Good banter (I couldn't tell if they really liked each other or not!). Excellent learning experience.

Stephen D.

Excellent discussion.

Nadjia L.

Very engaging speakers. Well done.

michael l.

great course

Jenny T.

Very effective & convenient

Matthew R.

Thank you

John C. T.

good presentation but slides were lacking in content and depth

James P.

Very good interplay of two perspectives.

Peter S.

this was an excellent lecture


Defense Attorney vs. DA is always fun

Marisa B.

Excellent candid discussion about real issues the defense bar faces.

Patricia C.

What law school did Mr. Vartan attend? (Just kidding.)

Pat C.

Good Discussion with bot perspectives.

Lawrence F.

Excellent course for criminal law practitioners like myself.

joe c.

Most enjoyable. The banter back and forth between the two kept it interesting throughout. I hope they do another CLE together.

Enrico D.

Interesting, but too basic for advanced criminal practicioners

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$ 89 Ethics, Criminal Law, and Litigation In Stock


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