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The Kelley Institute
Law of Lawyering
Supreme Court Review

Cases tagged as: ineffective assistance of counsel

Berghuis v. Thompkins

130 S. Ct. 2250 (2010) (PDF)

Petitioner brought a Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance of counsel claim for failure to ask for jury instructions. The court held that even if there was deficient performance, the petitioner could not show prejudice under de novo review.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Bobby v. Van Hook

130 S.Ct. 13 (2009) (PDF)

State inmate (who had been sentenced to death) was held not to be entitled to federal habeas corpus relief on claim, under Federal Constitution's Sixth Amendment, of ineffective assistance of counsel during sentencing phase of trial. A decision not to seek more mitigating evidence was within the range of professionally reasonable judgments. Because the petition was filed before 1996 the stricter ABA standards for counsel in death penalty cases did not apply in assessing counsel's use of mitigation in sentencing portion of the trial.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Burt v. Titlow

134 S. Ct. 10, 187 L. Ed. 2d 348 (2013) (PDF)

The Court held that the Sixth Circuit failed to apply the correct standard ("doubly deferential" standard) of review when it did not credit the state district court's reasonable factual findings when the Circuit assumed ineffective assistance of counsel where the record was silent.

Related tag(s): 2013 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, legal advice, right to counsel,

Chaidez v. U.S.

133 S. Ct. 1103 (2013) (PDF)

The Court held that the Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, holding that criminal defendants receive ineffective assistance of counsel under the 6th Amendment when their attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation, does not apply retroactively to cases already final on direct review.

Related tag(s): 2012 Term, immigration, ineffective assistance of counsel, sixth amendment,

Cullen v. Pinholster

131 S. Ct. 1388 (2011) (PDF)

The Court determined that counsel was not ineffective in failing to consult with an additional psychiatrist and more family members to produce sufficient mitigating evidence

Related tag(s): 2010 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Harrington v. Richter

131 S. Ct. 770 (2011) (PDF)

The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit's finding of ineffective assistance of counsel, where the defense attorney used cross-examination and other methods to create reasonable doubt rather than expert testimony and forensic evidence about the blood that was found at the murder scene.

Related tag(s): 2010 Term, academic amicus brief filed, attorney-client relationship, decision in favor of academic amicus brief, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Jefferson v. Upton

130 S. Ct. 2217 (2010) (PDF)

On habeas corpus review of a claim by a state prison inmate who was under death sentence, the federal court held to have erred under the former version of 28 U.S.C.S. § 2254(d), by not fully considering all of the potentially applicable exceptions to statutory presumption of correctness.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, habeas corpus, ineffective assistance of counsel, sixth amendment,

Lafler v. Cooper

132 S.Ct. 1376 (PDF)

In Lafler, the court had to decide whether bad advice from a lawyer during plea negotiations may impact a subsequent guilty verdict. The Court held that defendants are entitled to effective assistance of legal counsel during plea negotiations. According to the Court, the proper test for determining ineffective assistance of counsel is whether, absent the ineffective counsel, a defendant would have accepted an offered plea that was less severe than his eventual sentence, and the trial court would have accepted the terms of that plea.

Related tag(s): 2011 Term, ABA amicus brief filed, attorney-client relationship, bad faith, decision in favor of ABA amicus brief, ineffective assistance of counsel,

Martel v. Clair

132 S.Ct. 1276 (2012) (PDF)

At issue here was whether a state death row prisoner is entitled to a new court-appointed lawyer when the first fails to pursue critical evidence (here exonerating DNA tests). The Court held that when evaluating motions to substitute counsel in capital cases under 18. U.S.C §3599, courts should employ the same “interests of justice” standard that applies in non-capital cases under §3006A. Regarding the District Court's denial of Clair's second request for new counsel, there was no abuse of discretion.

Related tag(s): 2011 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Martinez v. Ryan

132 S.Ct. 1309 (2012) (PDF)

In Martinez, the Court decided whether a criminal defendant had a right to effective assistance of first post-conviction counsel, specifically with respect to his ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim. They held that where, under state law, ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claims must be raised in an initial-review collateral proceeding, a procedural default will not bar a federal habeas court from hearing those claims if, in the initial review collateral proceeding, there as no counsel or counsel in that proceeding was ineffective.

Related tag(s): 2011 Term, ABA amicus brief filed, attorney-client relationship, decision in favor of ABA amicus brief, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Missouri v. Frye

132 S.Ct. 1399 (2012) (PDF)

The question before the Court was whether bad advice from a lawyer during plea negotiations may impact a subsequent guilty verdict. The Court held that a guilty plea must be a voluntary expression of the defendant's choice, and a knowing and intelligent act done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences. As a result, the defendant was prejudiced by counsel's deficient performance in failing to advise defendant of plea offers from state prosecutors before he plead guilty.

Related tag(s): 2011 Term, ABA amicus brief filed, attorney-client relationship, bad faith, decision in favor of ABA amicus brief, ineffective assistance of counsel,

Padilla v. Kentucky

130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010) (PDF)

Counsel's alleged failure to correctly advise an alien legal permanent resident of United States, before he pleaded guilty to trafficking in marijuana, that this was deportable offense under Immigration and Naturalization Act provision (8 U.S.C.S. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i)) held to be deficient assistance under Sixth Amendment.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, ABA amicus brief filed, academic amicus brief filed, attorney-client relationship, decision in favor of ABA amicus brief, decision in favor of academic amicus brief, immigration, ineffective assistance of counsel, sixth amendment,

Porter v. McCollum

130 S. Ct. 447 (2009) (PDF)

Counsel's failure at a capital sentencing to present evidence of accused's mental health or mental impairment, family background, or military service held to be (1) ineffective assistance in violation of Sixth Amendment; and (2) prejudicial to accused.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Premo v. Moore

131 S. Ct. 733 (2011) (PDF)

State prisoner--who, after confessing to fatal shooting, followed counsel's advice to plead no contest to felony murder in exchange for minimum sentence--was held to be not entitled to federal habeas corpus relief on claim of ineffective assistance in counsel's failure, before giving plea advice, to move to suppress confession.

Related tag(s): 2010 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Sears v. Upton

130 S. Ct. 3259 (2010) (PDF)

Petitioner was sentenced to death and brought a Sixth Amendment Ineffective assistance of counsel claim. The state court erred in its analysis of petitioner's Sixth Amendment claim since (1) the state court curtailed a more probing prejudice inquiry because it placed undue reliance on the assumed reasonableness of counsel's mitigation theory, and (2) the state court failed to apply the proper prejudice inquiry. A proper analysis of prejudice would have taken into account the newly uncovered evidence of petitioner's "significant" mental and psychological impairments.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, sixth amendment,

Smith v. Spisak

130 S. Ct. 676 (2010) (PDF)

State prison inmate given death sentence held not entitled to federal habeas corpus relief on claims of penalty-phase (1) unconstitutional jury instructions allegedly allowing consideration of only unanimously-found mitigating factors; or (2) ineffective assistance of counsel in closing argument.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, jury instructions, sixth amendment,

Tibbals v. Carter

133 S. Ct. 696 (2013) (PDF)

Alongside Ryan v. Gonzales, the Court held that neither 18 U.S.C Section 3599 nor 18 U.S.C Section 4241 provides a right to suspend the prisoner's federal habeas corpus proceedings.

Related tag(s): 2012 Term, habeas corpus, ineffective assistance of counsel,

Wong v. Belmontes

130 S. Ct. 383 (2009) (PDF)

State prison inmate who had been sentenced to death for murder held not entitled to federal habeas corpus relief on claim, under Federal Constitution, of ineffective assistance of counsel during sentencing phase of trial as inmate could not establish prejudice under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, prejudice, sixth amendment,

Wood v. Allen

130 S. Ct. 841 (2010) (PDF)

Under § 2254(d)(2), the state court's finding that defendant's counsel made a strategic decision not to pursue or present evidence of defendant's mental deficiencies was not an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state-court proceedings.

Related tag(s): 2009 Term, attorney-client relationship, ineffective assistance of counsel, sixth amendment,


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