Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court against the Alabama Ethics Commission, stating an advisory opinion of theirs “directly interferes with and impairs his duties.”

Marshall is asking the court to revoke an advisory opinion by the Alabama Ethics Commission in July that states the “commission is not required or permitted to disclose exculpatory information or Brady material to respondents of complaints filed with the Ethics Commission.”

“Advisory Opinion 2022-03 has a significant negative effect on the work of the Attorney General’s Office, as the Ethics Commission’s self-imposed prohibition on providing Brady material to respondents directly interferes with and impairs his duties under the Alabama Ethics Act,” Marshall wrote in the lawsuit. “Referrals from the Ethics Commission are useless to the Attorney General when discovery is conducted by the Ethics Commission in the legally deficient manner prescribed by the advisory opinion.”

The Brady rule, named after Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), requires prosecutors to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government's possession to the defense, according to the Legal Information Institute.

Marshall asks the court to rule that the advisory opinion was “adopted in violation of the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act” and declare it null and void.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton told Tuesday he believes the Ethics Commission policy is legally correct.

“We disagree with the AG’s analysis and conclusions because the Opinion accurately reflects existing case law on the issue, and the Commission is bound by that precedent,” Albritton told the outlet. “As stated by the Commission publicly when they approved the Advisory Opinion, however, the Commission welcomes a court of competent jurisdiction to review these issues in light of the applicable statutory provisions and existing case law and will abide by whatever direction that Court gives us.”

Marshall Complaint by Caleb Taylor on Scribd

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