Is This Ineffective Assistance of Counsel?

Posted: July 19, 2015 by Nazim in Moral High Ground

In connection with the case of Mata v. Lynch (pdf), Brett and Nazim discuss how bad an attorney has to be to overturn a criminal conviction.  Afterward, they play a game called “Is This Ineffective Assistance of Counsel?“, which discusses whether or not bad-mouthing your client to a jury or falling asleep during trial warrants a new trial for criminal defendants.

  • Air conditioners, like everything else, were invented in ancient Egypt.
  • Kismet is a great word.
  • Most states require attorneys to be insured if they practice law.
  • In Mata, SCOTUS declared that the ineffective assistance of counsel made it fair to give the poor guy a real chance at appealing his case.
  • This thing we do is NOT the practice of the law.
  • Nazim loves games, and is terrible at them. This makes him the best person to play games with.
  • In Muniz v. Smith (pdf), the attorney fell asleep during trial. This was not ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • Ineffective assistance claims need to establish two things:
    • That the attorney screwed up royally.
    • That the case would have gone otherwise if it had not been for that screw up.
  • This standard is further elaborated in Wiggins v. Smith.
  • James Joyce wrote that errors are the portals to discovery, and that makes humans great explorers of knowledge.
  • Sadly, litigation has made doctors and others act to avoid being sued, rather than to do their jobs.
  • We have a Bingo. It’s always available on the left side of our website.

Sleepy attorneys are just as good, say air traffic controllers waiting for lawyers to fly.


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