The Office of Professional Responsibility
(OPR) is part of the United States Department of Justice
(DOJ) responsible for investigating attorneys
employed by the DOJ who have been accused of misconduct or crimes in their professional functions. The OPR promulgates independent standards of ethical and criminal conduct for DOJ attorneys, while the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General
(OIG) has jurisdiction of non-attorney DOJ employees. Since 2009, the OPR has been headed by Mary Patrice Brown
., The Blog of Legal Times
(April 8, 2009).
The OPR receives reports of allegations of misconduct made against DOJ attorneys from many sources. Nearly half of all such allegations are reported to OPR either by DOJ sources, such as the attorney involved. The remaining complaints come from a variety of sources, including private attorneys, defendants and civil litigants
, other federal agencies
or local government
officials, judicial and congressional
referrals, and media reports. OPR gives expedited attention to judicial findings of misconduct.
The OPR reviews each allegation and determines whether further investigation is warranted. The determination is a matter of investigative judgment that weighs many factors, including the nature of the allegation, its apparent credibility, its specificity, its susceptibility to verification, and the source of the allegation. A decision to open a matter does not give rise to a presumption of... Read More