Friday, January 7, 2011

The Supreme Court grants two cases on ineffective assistance of counsel

The Supreme Court announced today it has granted review in two cases, which involve issues related to the notion of ineffective assistance of counsel. Interestingly, though, the cases will be heard separately. The Court will be deciding whether an individual who rejects a plea offer from prosecutors because of his or her lawyer's advice has a claim for ineffective legal assistance if that advice was either flawed or produced a less favorable outcome than if the individual had gone to trial. Moreover, the Court told counsel in both cases to brief and argue an additional question: “What remedy, if any, should be provided for ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargain negotiations if the defendant was later convicted and sentenced pursuant to constitutionally adequate procedures?” The cases are called Leflar v. Cooper (10-209) and Missouri v. Frye (10-444). (The links over the names of the cases will take you to the SCOTUSblog page with all the case documents, briefs and opinions.)

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