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SCOW splits 3-3 over when a defendant’s right to counsel attaches

State v. Nelson Garcia, Jr., 2019 WI 40, 4/19/19; case activity (including briefs)

ASPD Pam Moorshead briefed this appeal and argued it to SCOW less than two weeks ago. The lead issue was whether the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches upon the finding of probable cause and setting of bail by a court commissioner. Justice Abrahamson withdrew from participation leaving only 6 justices to decide the case. Unfortunately, they split 3-3. This means that at least 1 of the conservative justices sided with the defendant. With the full court, he likely would have prevailed.  Due to the split, the court of appeals’ decision stands.  Clearly SCOW is interested in this issue (and possibly the other 2 listed in the petition) so please preserve it for your appellate colleagues! For a refresher, read On Point’s analysis here. 

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