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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally named the managers who would present the articles of impeachment to the Senate and subsequently prosecute the impeachment case. The lead manager is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Given the strong possibility Schiff will be called as a witness, however, should he even be permitted to serve as a manager in the upcoming impeachment trial?
According to Module Rule of Professional Conduct 3.7(a):
Lawyer - Advocate - Trial - Lawyer - Witness
A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness unless:
(1) the testimony relates to an uncontested issue;
Disqualification - Lawyer - Hardship - Client
(3) disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client.
Generally speaking, a manager’s role in an impeachment trial is similar to that of a prosecutor’s in a criminal trial. Like a criminal trial, the president’s lawyers will serve as defense counsel, and the Senate will serve as the jury.
Cases - Impeachments - Justice - Supreme - Court
In cases of presidential impeachments, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial. Moreover, all managers typically come from the same party, as they are all in favor of impeachment. While the managers serve as prosecutors, they do not determine the rules of the trial, which the Senate decides.
According to Democratic strategist Michael Gordon, an ideal manager choice would be a “credible, least-partisan-seeming” member, rather than an “overly partisan” member who would “not really be open to the facts.” Joe Lockhart, a spokesman for President Bill Clinton during his impeachment, noted that when choosing managers, congressional politics might win out over the most qualified managers.
Lockhart - Example - Committee - Chairs - Seniority
According to Lockhart, “You could go, for example, with committee chairs and you could go by seniority. And that doesn’t necessarily give you the most effective prosecution.” In the instance of President Donald Trump’s impeachment, Schiff and the other managers will prosecute the case.
Rule 3.7 specifically applies to...
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