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A. Right to counsel

Scott Schmidt v. Brian Foster, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 17-1727, 12/20/18, reversing panel decision of 5/29/18 Schmidt, as we discussed in our post on the Seventh Circuit’s (now reversed) habeas grant, was summoned into chambers and questioned by the judge about the testimony he wanted to give in his defense. His lawyer was… Read More

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State v. Nelson Garcia, Jr., 2016AP1276-CR, petition for review of an unpublished court of appeals decision granted 12/12/18; case activity (including briefs) Issues (from the petition for review) Does the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attach upon the finding of probable cause and setting of bail by a court commissioner? Was the line-up impermissibly suggestive… Read More

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Fond du Lac County v. S.R.H., 2018AP1088-FT, 10/17/18, District 2 (1-judge opinion, eligible for publication); case activity At the beginning of a Chapter 51 extension hearing, S.R.H. told the court that he wanted to fire his attorney, and he asked for a new one. When that failed, he asked the court “Your honor, could I… Read More

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State v. Sandra D. Solomon, 2018AP298-CR, 9/25/18, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Solomon sought plea withdrawal arguing that the circuit court had denied her request to represent herself and insisted on proceeding with the scheduled trial date, so her newly-retained lawyer was not prepared to defend her. The court… Read More

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State v. Terrance Lavone Egerson, 2018 WI App 49; case activity (including briefs) Egerson told the trial court that his lawyer was “totally deficient” and declared a “total breakdown in communication.” The trial court agreed to let Egerson have a new lawyer, but as the parties and the court discussed logistics, he said: “let me… Read More

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Scott Schmidt v. Brian Foster, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 17-1727, 5/29/18, reversing Schmidt v. Pollard, No. 13-CV-1150 (E.D. Wis. Mar. 20, 2017); reversed en banc 12/20/18 A criminal defendant is entitled to counsel at all “critical stages” of the case. You probably think that a hearing, before a murder trial, that determines whether… Read More

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The latest edition of the Volokh Conspiracy analyzes a recent 12-4 en banc decision by the 6th Circuit decision in which the majority answers the question above “no” based on current precedent. However, a “concurrence dubitante” argues that this conflicts with The Founders’ intent when they drafted the 6th Amendment. Another concurring opinion calls on SCOTUS… Read More

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State v. Jack M. Suriano, 2017 WI 42, affirming an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2015AP959-CR; case activity (including posts) In Wisconsin, a defendant can lose his or her right to counsel in two ways: waiver and forfeiture. Waiver is voluntary and requires a colloquy with the defendant. Forfeiture does not. Three different attorneys accepted… Read More

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