If a prosecutor files a motion “on behalf of” a victim, does that create any ‘attorney-client’ relationship between the prosecutor and victim?
If so, what are the ethical or malpractice implications?
No. While the prosecutors have duties to protect victims’ rights, they represent the State of Ohio, not the victim. Prosecutors should inform the victim that prosecutors are not the victim’s attorney. Ethically, prosecutors must act in the best interests of the state, even if the state’s interests diverge from the victims. However, because the victim is usually an important part of the state’s case, protecting the victim’s rights is often in line with the prosecutor’s ethical obligations to the state.