The odds of getting into Harvard are 5.2%. The odds of SCOTUS granting a petition for writ of certiorari are 1.2%–and only .5% if it is filed in forma pauperis. Yet our very own Andy Hinkel just did it. Without a supreme court clinic or an amicus curiae listed on his cert petition, without a filing fee or fancy formatting, Andy, relying on brute intelligence, persuaded SCOTUS to grant cert in State v. Mitchell featured in the post below. Congratulations, Andy. We are thoroughly impressed and rooting for you and your client!!
Gerald Mitchell v. Wisconsin, USSC No. 18-6210, certiorari granted 1/11/19
Whether a statute authorizing a blood draw from an unconscious motorist provides an exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement.
Since Justice Abrahamson announced her retirement, SCOWstats (following Posner’s Cardozo: A Study in Reputation), has published a series of posts attempting to measure her influence on the law. Today’s post compares how often she and her colleagues for the past 43 years have been cited in law reviews. Guess who dominates? Click here. She may be the most cited justice in Wisconsin history.
Savage-Filo claimed that her trial counsel was ineffective for, among other things, failing to investigate electronic discovery and incorrectly assessing the strength of a video allegedly showing her take a purse (filled with jewelry) left in a cart at a store parking lot. S-F argues that the appalling quality of the video shows that the State had little evidence against her. Her trial counsel failed to appreciate this and pushed her to plead. Read more
Bowser was charged with several offenses in two cases; the two cases involved alleged drug sales on two different dates (one in 2015, one in 2016) to two different CIs. He and the state struck a deal in which he pleaded to some counts in each file with the rest dismissed. But before he could be sentenced, Bowser learned that the CI from the 2015 sale was recanting his claims that Bowser had sold him the drugs. Bowser moved to withdraw all his pleas in both cases. Read more
Nowels pled guilty to hit and run. He later sought plea withdrawal because during his colloquy the trial court failed to state 2 of the crime elements that the State would be required to prove at trial. The trial court agreed with him on this point, so for the plea withdrawal hearing the burden shifted to the State to prove that Nowles knew and understood those elements when he pled. Read more
Stormy applause for Godfrey & Kahn who took this appeal pro bono and then won it! The court of appeals held that Yancey alleged a prima facie claim for ineffective assistance of counsel when he pled guilty and was entitled to a Machner hearing. It also held that the trial court incorrectly held that to establish prejudice Yancey had to show a “reasonable probability that he would have been able to mount a successful challenge to the State’s evidence at a trial.” Read more
This could have turned out worse. The court of appeals, as we noted in our post on that court’s decision, held that Wiskerchen, convicted of a single burglary of a home, could be made to pay restitution for his alleged prior burglaries of the same home, even though those alleged burglaries were neither charged nor read in, as the statute seems to require. Four justices now conclude, through a creative reading of the record, that the circuit court found Wiskerchen took everything in the single burglary. So, precedentially, this case amounts to little or nothing, and for now at least, the court avoids embracing the court of appeals’ view that results can precede causes. Read more