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The Kelley Institute
Law of Lawyering
Supreme Court Review

Cases tagged as: decision in favor of ABA amicus brief

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.

Related tag(s): 2011 Term, ABA amicus brief filed, decision in favor of ABA amicus brief, qualified immunity,

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,

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,

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.

Related tag(s): 2011 Term, ABA amicus brief filed, decision in favor of ABA amicus brief, prosecutorial misconduct,


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