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a. Prejudice found

State v. Pedro R. Mendoza, III, 2018AP2325-Cr,10/6/20,  District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) A jury convicted Mendoza of 1st degree recklessly endangering safety and 1st degree endangering safety when he shot into a car occupied by H.V. and M.M.C. Mendoza claimed his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to: (1) seek… Read More

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Michael Gilbreath v. Dan Winkleski, Case No. 19-cv-728-jdp (W.D. Wis. Aug. 4, 2020) Witness credibility was the key issue at Gilbreath’s trial, and his counsel’s failure to present evidence that would have undermined [the complaining witness’s] credibility and bolstered Gilbreath’s defense deprived Gilbreath of a fair trial. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals unreasonably concluded that… Read More

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State v. Desmond Myers LaPean, 2019AP1448, 7/14/20, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) LaPean pleaded to a sexual assault of a child with an agreement that the state would cap its recommendation at 10 years of initial confinement and 10 of extended supervision. But at sentencing, the state first recommended 12… Read More

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State v. Ryan C. Diehl, 2020 WI App 16; case activity (including briefs) At Diehl’s trial for operating with a blood-alcohol content exceeding .02, the state asked the arresting officer and Diehl himself multiple questions that invited the jury to infer he had multiple OWI convictions. Because these questions were irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial, trial counsel… Read More

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Terez Cook v. Brian Foster, Warden, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 18-2214, 1/29/2020 Pursuing a federal writ of habeas corpus is always a long shot; in non-capital cases fewer than 1% of petitions are successful. Terez Cook gets it done here, convincing the Seventh Circuit his lawyer was ineffective at his trial for a… Read More

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Garza v. Idaho, USSC No. 17-1026, reversing Garza v. State, 405 P.3d 576 (Idaho 2017);  Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) This case involved two plea agreements that included clauses stating that Garza waived his right to appeal. After sentencing, Garza told his lawyer that he wanted to appeal, but his lawyer refused… Read More

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Hatem M. Shata v. Denise Symdon, No. 16-CV-574 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 12, 2018) Shata’s case was one of two our supreme court decided on the same day–both held counsel not ineffective for failing to give accurate advice on immigration consequences. You can see our prior post for the facts and our analysis of those decisions… Read More

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State v. Tanya Lynn Schmit, 2017AP871-CR, District 3, 7/31/18 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Schmit was charged with OWI. She told her trial lawyer there were two witnesses who would support her defense that she wasn’t the driver, but trial counsel didn’t interview the witnesses or call them at trial. Trial counsel’s failure… Read More

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