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A. Right to counsel

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State v. Jack M. Suriano, 2017 WI 42, affirming an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2015AP959-CR; case activity (including posts) In Wisconsin, a defendant can lose his or her right to counsel in two ways: waiver and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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State v. Elbe, 2016AP2012-2013, 1/26/17, District 4 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) The Elbes were charged with disorderly conduct back in 1996. They requested the appointment of counsel, but the trial court found that they were not indigent.  This caused them to plead no contest. Twenty years later they moved to… Read More

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Review of an unpublished court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs) Issue (composed by On Point) Did the circuit court err in holding that Suriano forfeited his Sixth Amendment right to counsel after three appointed attorneys withdrew from representing him because the court did not warn Suriano that forfeiture was a possibility and did not advise Suriano of the difficulties and dangers… Read More

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Joseph J. Jordan v. Randall R. Hepp, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-3613, 2016 WL 4119862, 8/3/16 Jordan claims the Wisconsin courts unreasonably applied clearly established federal law when they held that he was not denied the right to represent himself and that his trial lawyer was not ineffective for failing to object to… Read More

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Rashaad A. Imani v. William Pollard, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-3407, 2016 WL 3434673, 6/22/16 Imani tried to exercise his right to self-representation under Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975), but the Wisconsin trial judge prevented him from doing so. In State v. Imani, 2010 WI 66, 326 Wis. 2d 179, 786 N.W.2d… Read More

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