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1. Deficient performance

State v. A.M., 2019AP475-476, District 1, 1/3/20, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity This is A.M.’s pro se appeal from an order terminating her parental rights to her two children. The briefs are confidential, and the court of appeals states that it had difficulty discerning her arguments.  She appears to have argued that she… Read More

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State v. Toby J. Vandenberg, 2018AP1810-CR, District 3, 12/23/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Vandenberg pled no contest to OWI 7th. The state agreed to cap its sentencing recommendation at four years of confinement and four years of extended supervision. At sentencing Vandenberg’s lawyer, while saying there was “a strong argument there’s… Read More

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State v. N.M.A.-S., 2018AP2308-09, 12/17/19, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity This TPR case involves a mom with a substance abuse problem and her daughter  who had ingested morphine.  At the trial on grounds, defense counsel asked the jury pool: “Is there anyone that believes that someone who is struggling with an addiction… Read More

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State v. Robert C. Washington, 2018AP1771-CR, District 1, 10/8/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Washington was convicted of first degree reckless homicide and first degree reckless injury for shooting his two sons, killing one and injuring the other. He argues his lawyer was ineffective for advising him to plead without discussing possible… Read More

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State v. Johnalee A. Kawalec, 2017AP798, 7/24/19, District 2 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) We’ve questioned the blanket claim that a lawyer can’t be ineffective for failing to argue an unsettled proposition of law.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

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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

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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

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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

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