Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Headnote of the Week

This week I decided to do something different for the Headnote of the Week.  Instead of giving you a quote from a real case, I wanted to give readers a sense of what I read on a regular basis.  What follows is a quote from one party's brief in a case I am working on.  Please keep in mind that this is written by a private lawyer (i.e. being paid) for a criminal defendant facing serious jail time.  I have omitted nothing (i.e. the lawyer cited no cases to support his argument).  The brief was written in March, though, so maybe the lawyer had March Madness on the brain...

"Without a defense expert to contravert [sic] or at least contest the conclusions reached by the prosecution's expert witnesses . . . [this case] is akin to showing up to play a game of basketball with only four players instead of five players.  The result of such a game, all things being equal, is easy to predict.  The same is true with a trial. If the other side produces an expert witness, it is ineffective assistance of counsel for a defense attorney not to produce a defense expert on the same subject matter to contest or challenge the conclusions reached by the government's expert witness.  This is what occurred in this case, and this is why there was ineffective assistance of counsel as regards this issue."

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