There is a Constitutional Right to Have an Attorney’s Assistance When Charged with a Criminal Offense
US Supreme Court to decide a case regarding ineffective assistance of counsel
The United States Supreme Court started its new term on October 5, 2015. On that date it agreed to decide the case of Maryland v Kulbicki. In that case, Mr. Kulbicki was convicted of a 1995 murder. Mr. Kulbicki appealed claiming his attorneys were ineffective. The basis for that claim was a test that was commonly used at that time that determined similarities in bullets to the extent that the bullets likely came from the same package. This test was known as the Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis (CBLA). The report from the ballistics expert was available, but Mr. Kulicki’s counsel did not attempt to get a copy of it.
By the time the appeal was heard in 2006, the CBLA test was no longer commonly used and was disfavored by most courts. The Maryland Court of Appeals decided that the defense attorney should gotten the report and spotted the flaws in the test and used those flaws to cast doubt on the test during his cross-examination.
The United States Supreme Court determined that there was no way that defense counsel could have foreseen that a test that was commonly used when this case was tried would be disfavored 11 years later. The Maryland Court of Appeals was wrong because to decide otherwise would be to expect perfect representation by defense counsel and that is a standard that is unreachable.
The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on this case sometime during its term which ends in the Spring of 2016.
Appealing a Case of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
The current standard for determining ineffective assistance of counsel is found in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). The court announced a two prong test to determine of counsel is ineffective. The first prong is whether counsel’s performance was so deficient that it fell before the objective standard of reasonableness. The second prong of the test is was the deficiency prejudicial to the defendant. In other words, but for the attorneys performance the result would have been different. This standard is fairly high. If you feel that your attorney was ineffective in representing you, it is important to have the situation reviewed to protect your interests and rights. The attorneys are LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have handled hundreds of appeals that involved attorneys who were not effective in their representation of clients. Our attorneys feel strongly that a person needs the best legal representation available and if that is not provided, then an ineffective assistance of counsel claim may be appropriate and a person can have another chance with an attorney who will do it right. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will be happy to review any case for possible appeal and a possible claim for ineffective assistance of counsel. We will give an unbiased opinion of whether or not an appeal may be successful.
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The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. make it a point to be the best prepared attorneys in any courtroom they enter. It is important to each of its lawyers that the client gets the best representation available. Our attorneys have sterling reputations. They are often sought out as speakers at continuing legal education events. When you are in trouble you want to best legal help you can get – that is LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. Our attorneys take our obligation to protect our clients seriously and will zealously and passionately make sure that all constitutional rights are protected. When your freedom is at stake, call the “go-to” attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. We are here to help. Call today for a free consultation at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our top rated attorneys will contact you.
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