Attorney becomes prosecutor?

If an attorney is tapped to become a county prosecutor - what happens to his clients? What’s the procedure re: clients he is representing for criminal/civil matters in that county?

Inquiring minds…


Presumably there’s some sort of “transition” period between his old job and the new one during which he finalises matters for any client for whom he’s working or arranges for clients’ legal affairs to be transferred to another lawyer. If in his new role as prosecutor he came up against one of his former clients he would presumably excuse himself on conflict of interest grounds.

But if he’s the prosecutor. I mean the head honcho big Kahuna prosecutor. Isn’t he technically prosecuting every case? What about attorney/client privilege? Now the prosecutor has all the defense information. Can the head county prosecutor recuse himself? Wouldn’t that be recusing the actual office of the prosecution?

Thanks for your input - I really do appreciate it.


I’ve answered at a general level only. I have no knowledge of your legal system. No doubt someone better qualified will comment soon. But even so…

Surely it’s the state (Crown in my jurisdiction) that is prosecuting every case, with the actual arguments being made by the individual prosecutor?

Why not? What would the chief prosecutor do if a member of his family were to be tried for murder? He’d have to excuse himself and hand the brief over to another member of the staff. The prosecution would still be carried out in the name of the state (Crown).

I had an attorney who won the election for a local judgeship, I campaigned for him. He recommended another lawyer to me and she was the pits. She screwed me out of 300 bucks on an eviction procedure and didn’t do diddly.

Yes, if the prosecutor has to prosecute someone he formerly had as a client, there are procedures in place to appoint a “special prosecutor”, usually just someone who visits from another county, to take care of that case. Pretty much the same thing as when a judge has a conflict and a visiting judge has to be appointed.