State ex rel. Romley v. Superior Court, County of Maricopa

891 P.2d 246 (1995)

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State ex rel. Romley v. Superior Court, County of Maricopa

Arizona Court of Appeals
891 P.2d 246 (1995)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

Jesse Flores and Manual Gongora (defendants) were indicted for crimes related to a drive-by shooting of J.M. and his family. The county attorney had previously indicted J.M. for attempted murder and aggravated assault in an unrelated matter. Flores and Gongora moved for determination of counsel, claiming that the prosecutor had a conflict of interest because the county attorney was prosecuting J.M. in another case and the dual prosecution created an appearance of impropriety. Flores and Gongora argued that the Victims’ Bill of Rights made prosecutors quasi representatives of alleged victims and that the professional-conduct rules prohibited a lawyer from litigating adversely to a former client in a subsequent matter. Flores and Gongora also maintained that the county attorney’s pending criminal prosecution of J.M. could cause J.M. to feel that he had to please the county attorney in Flores and Gongora’s case and the testimony of other victim-witnesses could be tainted to help J.M. in the unrelated prosecution. The court ordered that the county attorney withdraw from one of the two cases. The county attorney petitioned the court of appeals for special action. The court of appeals stayed further proceedings and accepted jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jacobson, J.)

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