The Kelley Institute
Law of Lawyering
Supreme Court Review
Cases tagged as: ABA amicus brief filed
Filarsky v. Delia
132 S.Ct. 1657 (2012) (PDF)
At issue before the Court was whether a private lawyer retained and hired as outside counsel by the local government to conduct an internal affairs investigation is entitled to qualified immunity. The Court held that temporary government attorneys are entitled to qualified immunity when sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Though not a public employee, the private attorney was retained by the City to assist in conducting an official investigation. As such, he was considered a government employee, and government employees performing such work are entitled to seek the protection of qualified immunity.
Hinton v. Alabama
134 S. Ct. 1081 (2014) (PDF)
Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel was supported when defense counsel in a capital murder trial failed to seek additional funds to replace an inadequate expert when that failure was based not on any strategic decision, but rather on a mistaken belief that available funding was capped at $1,000. The Court vacated the judgment below and remanded the case for reconsideration of whether the attorney's deficient performance was prejudicial.
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.
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.
Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A. v. United States
130 S. Ct. 1324 (2010) (PDF)
Attorneys who provide bankruptcy assistance to assisted persons are debt relief agencies under the BAPCPA, and as such Section 526(a)(4) prohibits an attorney only from advising a debtor to incur more debt because the debtor is filing for bankruptcy, rather than for a valid purpose. Section 528's advertising disclosure requirements are valid under the First Amendment as applied to Milavetz.
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.
Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter
130 S. Ct. 599 (2009) (PDF)
Disclosure orders adverse to the attorney-client privilege do not qualify for immediate appeal under the collateral order doctrine. Postjudgment appeals, together with other review mechanisms, suffice to protect the rights of litigants and preserve the vitality of the attorney-client privilege.
Related tag(s): 2009 Term, ABA amicus brief filed, academic amicus brief filed, appeals, attorney-client privilege, decision against ABA amicus brief, decision in favor of academic amicus brief, discovery,
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,
Smith v. Cain
132 S.Ct. 627 (2012) (PDF)
Under Brady v. Maryland, the State violates a defendant's right to due process if it withholds evidence that is favorable to the defense and material to the defendant's guilt or punishment. In this case, defendant was convicted of first-degree murder based on the testimony of a single eyewitness. The Court held that the eyewitness testimony was the only evidence linking defendant to the crime, and the eyewitness's undisclosed statements contradicted his testimony. As a result, the eyewitness's statements were material, and the State's failure to disclose those statements to the defense thus violated Brady.
Turner v. Rogers
131 S. Ct. 2507 (2011) (PDF)
The Court held that indigent, noncustodial parents subject to a child support order are not constitutionally entitled to counsel at a civil contempt proceeding, even if the parent faces jail time.