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Machner Hearing

State v. O.F., 2022AP1703, District 1, 01/18/2023 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity Ultimately, the issue addressed by the court of appeals is whether O.F. received ineffective assistance of counsel where trial counsel was alleged to have “violated his duty of confidentiality and loyalty” to his client. O.F.’s claims were based on multiple statements… Read more


State v. Darrell K. Smith, 2021AP72-CR, 9/20/22, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) A jury convicted Smith of 2nd degree sexual assault of A.B. He argued that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object when (1) statements from a non-testifying sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) were admitted in violation… Read more


State v. Robert Daris Spencer, 2022 WI 56, July 6, 2022, affirming in part and reversing in part an unpublished court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs) A majority of the supreme court holds that Spencer had no right to be personally present or even to have counsel present when the trial judge decided… Read more

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State v. Theophilous Ruffin, 2022 WI 34, reversing an unpublished court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs) This case doesn’t break new ground or develop existing law.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