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4. Litigating IAC

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State v. Theophilous Ruffin, 2019AP1046-CR, petition for review of an unpublished court of appeals decision granted 9/17/21; case activity (including briefs) Issue presented (from the State’s PFR) Is Ruffin entitled to an evidentiary hearing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State v. Robert Daris Spencer, 2018AP942-CR, petition for review, and petition for cross review, of an unpublished court of appeals decision, both granted 8/13/21; case activity (including briefs) Issues presented (composed by On Point from the PFR and cross PFR)  Was the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. Savage, 2020 WI 93, 12/23/20, reversing a court of appeals opinion; case activity (including briefs). Savage, who was homeless, claimed he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his lawyer failed to advise him that he had a defense under State v. Dinkins, 2012 WI 24, 339 Wis. 2d 78, 810 N.W.2d 787 before… Read more


State ex rel. Milton Eugene Warren v. Michael Meisner, 2020 WI 55, 6/11/20, reversing and remanding an unpublished order of the court of appeals, 2019AP567; case activity (including briefs) Seven years ago, the supreme court decided State v. Starks, 2013 WI 69, 349 Wis. 2d 274, 833 N.W.2d 146. That opinion contained a couple of… 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State v. Duanne D. Townsend, 2019AP787, 6/9/20, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Good news: the court of appeals reversed a circuit court decision denying Townsend’s §974.06 motion without a hearing.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


State v. Tammy Genevieve Hardenburg, 2019AP1399-CR, 5/27/20, District 1; case activity (including briefs) At Hardenburg’s OWI trial, the court admitted three blood test reports by three different analysts, but only one of them testified. Hardenburg argued that the testifying analyst served as a conduit for the opinions by the other two in violation of the… Read more