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4. Denial of counsel

McCoy v. Louisiana, USSC No. 16 – 8255, 2018 WL 218-617, 5/14/18, reversing and remanding State v. McCoy, 2018 So.3d 535 (La. 2016); SCOTUSblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary). In a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Ginsburg, SCOTUS holds that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the objective of his… Read more


This new law review article by Daniel Epps examine the subject in depth. Consider this excerpt from the abstract: Judges and commentators sharply disagree about which (and even whether) constitutional errors can be harmless, how to conduct harmless-error when it  analysis applies, and, most fundamentally, what harmless constitutional error even is-what source of law generates… Read more


How to beat the “harmless error” rap

For the 2015 SPD conference, Judge Sankovitz and Attorneys Rob Henak and Melinda Swartz prepared an excellent outline on a problem that plagues many defense lawyers on appeal.  They have a great issue. They win it, but then the court of appeals or supreme court finds the error harmless.  This detailed, well-researched outline walks you… Read more


State v. Darrell K., 2010AP1910, District 1, 10/19/10 court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Darrell K.: Jereny C. Perri, SPD, Milwaukee Darrell’s right to counsel was violated when the trial court granted counsel’s motion to withdraw then found Darrell in default as to grounds while he was unrepresented. State v. Shirley E… Read more


State v. Shirley E., 2006 WI 129, affirming 2006 WI App 55 For Shirley E.: Andrea Taylor Cornwall, SPD, Milwaukee Appellate Issue/Holding: ¶63      Depriving a parent of the statutory right to counsel in a termination of parental rights proceeding deprives the parent of a basic protection without which, according to our legislature, a termination of… Read more