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Counsel – Ineffective Assistance – Deficient Performance – failure to investigate, based on defendant’s version

State v. David S. Leighton, 2000 WI App 156, 237 Wis.2d 709, 616 N.W.2d 126
For Leighton: Daniel Snyder

Issue: Whether defendant’s first counsel was ineffective for failing to file formal discovery demand and investigate various matters.

Holding: Because counsel withdrew before the prelim, and because there is no right to discovery before prelim, counsel couldn’t have been deficient for failing to file a demand, ¶37; because defendant failed to show what information counsel might have uncovered, defendant didn’t show deficient performance, ¶39; because counsel’s investigative efforts relied on claims defendant made to him, the investigation was reasonable, ¶¶40-41; and because defendant failed to show how first counsel’s failure to investigate the crime scene resulted in prejudice, defendant wasn’t denied effective assistance of counsel.

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