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Machner Hearing

State v. Theophilous Ruffin, 2022 WI 34, reversing an unpublished court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs) This case doesn’t break new ground or develop existing law. Instead, it reverses the court of appeals for not applying the standard a circuit applies when deciding whether to hold an evidentiary hearing on a postconviction motion… Read more


State v. Michael Nelson, 2021AP1133-CR, 3/9/22, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Nelson, who values his right to bear arms, pled guilty to several crimes, including disorderly conduct and domestic violence.  As a condition of his probation, he was barred from possessing firearms. Postconviction, he claimed that his trial lawyer incorrectly advised… Read more


State v.  Larry Jackson, 2020AP2119-CR, petition for review of a per curiam opinion granted   1/11/22; case activity (including briefs) Issue (derived from Jackson’s petition for review): When a defendant claims ineffective assistance of counsel based on his trial lawyer’s failure to investigate alibi witnesses, and the State responds that these witnesses have credibility issues, may… Read more


Is State v. Machner unconstitutional? Part 2

We have a new development to report.  Recall that in 2015, Federal Defender Shelley Fite wrote an excellent guest post about a 7th Circuit decision, Pidgeon v. Smith, 785 F.3d 1165 (2015).  The 7th Circuit held that Machner‘s requirement–that a defendant claiming ineffective assistance of counsel must present his lawyer’s testimony at an evidentiary hearing–is… Read more


State v. Theophilous Ruffin, 2019AP1046-CR, petition for review of an unpublished court of appeals decision granted 9/17/21; case activity (including briefs) Issue presented (from the State’s PFR) Is Ruffin entitled to an evidentiary hearing based on his postconviction allegation that his trial counsel was deficient for not pursuing a theory of self-defense? This is essentially… Read more


State v. Robert Daris Spencer, 2018AP942-CR, petition for review, and petition for cross review, of an unpublished court of appeals decision, both granted 8/13/21; case activity (including briefs) Issues presented (composed by On Point from the PFR and cross PFR)  Was the circuit court’s ex parte voir dire and removal of a juror during trial… Read more


State v. Duanne D. Townsend, 2019AP787, 6/9/20, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Good news: the court of appeals reversed a circuit court decision denying Townsend’s §974.06 motion without a hearing. Townsend now gets a one on his claims for ineffective assistance of postconviction and trial counsel. Bad news: the court… Read more


State v. Mark J. Bucki, 2020 WI App 43; case activity (including briefs) [UPDATED POST – Scroll to the bottom for very useful commentary by Chris Zachar. Many thanks to him for sharing his knowledge.] The headline tells you the only legal proposition you need to take from this soon-to-be-published case: under Daubert, evidence that… Read more