OPR receives reports of allegations of misconduct made against Department of Justice
attorneys from many sources. Nearly half of all such allegations
are reported to OPR either by the attorney involved or by other
Department sources. The remaining complaints received by OPR
come from a variety of sources, including private attorneys, defendants
and civil litigants, other federal agencies, state or local government
officials, judicial and congressional referrals, and media reports.
Judicial findings of misconduct are given expedited attention
Upon receipt, OPR reviews each allegation and determines whether
further investigation is warranted. The determination whether
to open an investigation in a specific case is a matter of investigative
judgment. Many factors are weighed, 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 misconduct
nor does it shift the burden of proof to the person being investigated.
OPR's investigations involve a wide range of allegations, and
the investigative methods used vary accordingly.
In many cases, OPR notifies the attorney against whom the allegation
has been made and requests a written response. OPR may also conduct
Based on the results of the investigation,
OPR prepares a report to the component head concerned with a copy
to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General setting forth its findings
and conclusions, and advises the complainant and the attorney
involved of the conclusion reached.