The Committee: Established in 2013, the NCCDA Best Practices Committee includes both elected district attorneys and senior assistant district attorneys, who represent a diverse collection of the state’s districts. The committee recommends procedures that enhance the truth-seeking function critical to all investigations and prosecutions; analyzes ethical issues and generates updates for prosecutors on cases and rules that affect the ethical obligations of prosecutors; and develops efficient and effective management procedures and guidelines for the processing of certain case types and issues.
North Carolina’s Best Practices Committee meets at least 4-5 times per year. The agenda is set by the NCCDA Executive Committee, along with an NCCDA staff attorney, who was hired to oversee and support the committee’s activities. The committee was funded initially by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and continues to be funded by a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
- Appellate Guide: Published a Best Practices guide for receiving and responding to Motions for Appropriate Relief. The guide was distributed to all elected DAs in the state. Read
- Ethics: Published an ethics manual, which was also distributed to all elected DAs in North Carolina. Read
- Discovery: Created a training presentation for law enforcement on North Carolina’s open file discovery laws. The presentation was also distributed to all elected DAs. Read
- Body Cameras: In conjunction with law enforcement personnel, the Committee published a white paper detailing the concerns and considerations surrounding the implementation of body-worn camera programs. Read
- Officer-Involved Shootings: In December 2016, the Committee published “Investigating and Prosecuting Use of Force Incidents in North Carolina,” and distributed the paper to all of the elected prosecutors in the state. Read
“The best practices committee in North Carolina has tackled some very big and timely issues over a short amount of time. We have drafted and distributed an ethics handbook for all prosecutors, and have written position papers on use of force protocols, body cameras, and mass incarceration. The best practices Committee in North Carolina leaves no doubt that prosecutors are the true servants of the law.”
— Committee Co-chair, Ben David
Contact Information: Jessica Macari, Staff Attorney for the Best Practices Committee, Jessica.L.Macari@nccourts.org.