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D. Ineffective Assistance

Walker v. Pollard, 18C0147, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 9/4/19 Montgomery Walker is a pro se habeas petitioner who alleges that his postconviction/appellate counsel should have raised a claim of juror bias. In an order granting Walker an evidentiary hearing, the U.S. District Court holds that our supreme court was wrong, in State v. Starks, 2013… Read More


State v. Johnalee A. Kawalec, 2017AP798, 7/24/19, District 2 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) We’ve questioned the blanket claim that a lawyer can’t be ineffective for failing to argue an unsettled proposition of law. Here we have the sort of case for which the general rule makes some sense. Kawalec was charged… Read More


State v. Tyrus Lee Cooper, 2016AP375-CR, 6/20/19, affirming a per curiam court of appeals opinion, case activity (including briefs) Cooper moved for pre-sentencing plea withdrawal and filed an OLR grievance because his lawyer failed to provide him with discovery, contact witnesses, and communicate with him. Days before trial, his unprepared lawyer misled him about the… Read More


The Strickland standard stinks

You don’t have to say that 3 times fast . . . or slow. We all know it’s true. Here is a study that confirms the point. While the article focuses on death penalty cases, its conclusions apply broadly. Want to challenge Strickland? This article is a place to start… Read More


State v. Robert Brian Spencer, 2017AP1722-CR, 4/16/19, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Spencer raised many issues on appeal: insufficient evidence to support his conviction, multiple ineffective assistance of counsel claims, and a Brady violation. This post focuses on the 2 most interesting claims: ineffective assistance for failure to move to… Read More


State v. Casey M. Fisher, 2017AP868, District 1, 3/26/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Fisher’s § 974.06 postconviction motion clears the hurdle erected by State v. Escalona-Naranjo, 185 Wis. 2d 168, 517 N.W.2d 157 (1994), but fails on the merits. In 1994, after a trial, Fisher was convicted of armed robbery and homicide… Read More


State v. Martez C. Fennell, 2017AP2480-CR, District 1, 3/26/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Fennell unsuccessfully challenges his convictions for armed robbery and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, arguing that the charges are multiplicitous and that trial counsel should have subpoenaed a witness who would have impeached the victim’s identification… Read More


State v. Edward L. Branson, 2018AP873-CR, 3/21/19, District 4 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Branson was convicted of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. He argued that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to object to an officer’s testimony comparing his behavior to that of the passenger in his car where a bag… Read More