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State v. George E. Savage, 2019AP90-Cr, petition for review of an unpublished option granted, 5/19/20, case activity

Issues (adapted from the State’s petition for review):

1.  Under Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52 (1985), when a defendant claims that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in connection with a guilty plea, he must prove that but for his lawyer’s deficient performance  he would have proceeded to trial.  More recently, Lee v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 1958 (2017) held that a defendant can, in some circumstances, prove Strickland prejudice even without a reasonable probability of success at trial.  Given the facts of this case, did Savage prove that he was entitled to withdraw his guilty plea even though he couldn’t show a reasonable probability of success at trial?

2.  State v. Sholar, 2018 WI 53, 381 Wis. 2d 560, 912 N.W.2d 89 holds that a court cannot decide an ineffective assistance of counsel claim if a Machner hearing has not occurred. In Savage’s case, the circuit court did conduct a Machner hearing,  but the court of appeals reversed and remanded on both deficient performance and prejudice because the circuit court misapplied State v. Dinkins, 2012 WI 24, ¶ 5, 339 Wis. 2d 78, 810 N.W.2d 787. Should the court of appeals have affirmed under the rule that the court of appeals may sustain a circuit court decision if there are facts in the record to support it?

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Portage County v. E.R.R., 2019AP2033, 5/21/20, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

E.R.R.’s original commitment term expired during the pendency of his appeal, but the commitment was extended. He concedes this makes the appeal moot but argues the court should nevertheless decide his issues because they are of great public importance and likely to arise again. We’ll never know if he had a point, because the briefs are confidential and the court’s rejection of his arguments consists of a single paragraph: Read more

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State v. A.N.G., 2019AP1100, 5/21/20, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

A.N.G. and a middle-school classmate collaborated on a drawing depicting a “cartoon-style bomb,” a school, and a body on the ground. Two weeks later, a teacher caught them passing a note, which turned out to be the drawing. Naturally, the state initiated quasi-criminal proceedings alleging A.N.G. had committed disorderly conduct and made a “terrorist threat.” A.N.G. was found delinquent, but the court of appeals now reverses, saying the adjudications violate the First Amendment. Read more

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Winnebago County v. L. F.-G., 2019AP2010, 5/20/20, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

This is an appeal of the extension of the commitment of someone the court calls “Emily.” Following our supreme court’s decision in Portage County v. J.W.K., 2019 WI 54, ¶19, 386 Wis. 2d 672, 927 N.W.2d 509, the court of appeals reverses because the county didn’t introduce any evidence that Emily would be dangerous if treatment were withdrawn. Read more

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State v. Chase M.A. Boruch, 2018AP152, 5/19/20, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Boruch, pro se, filed a Wis. Stat. § 974.06 motion raising a slew of claims related to his conviction, at jury trial, for first-degree intentional homicide. He’d already had an 809.30 postconviction motion and direct appeal (with counsel). He claimed, as a “sufficient reason” for not raising these new claims the first time around, that his postconviction/appellate counsel had been ineffective. The circuit court denied the motion and also refused to waive fees to produce the transcripts Boruch would need to appeal this denial. This is an appeal only of the refusal to waive those fees. Read more

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State v. Paris Markese Chambers, 2019AP17-18-CR, 5/12/20, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The State charged 17 year old Chambers with 8 crimes involving car theft, damage to property, and bail jumping across two cases. His maximum sentence exposure was 29.5 years and a $75,000 fine. The trial court imposed a global sentence of 8.5 years of initial confinement and 13.5 years extended supervision. On appeal Chambers argued that his global sentence was harsh and unconscionable. Read more

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State v. J.W., 2020AP161, 5/12/20, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

At the grounds phase of his TPR proceeding J.W. stipulated to the “failure to assume parental responsibility” reason for terminating his parental rights. On appeal he argued that at the trial court erroneously determined that he was unlikely to meet the conditions of return due to a learning disability. Read more

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Do Zoom jury trials violate due process?

Courts are holding Zoom hearings, bench trials and oral arguments, but what about Zoom jury trials? This ABA Journal post highlights ways those just might violate your client’s due process rights.

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