Thief River Falls, MN asked in Legal Malpractice for Minnesota

Q: Is it ineffective counsel if my attorney refused to present any evidence at trial?

There was extensive documentation supporting our defense strategy. He refused to present it. Refused to ask many questions I suggested that would support my innocence. His reasoning always that the prosecution might object. Stated he didn't know what evidence he could use. Discouraged Mr from testifying. Entered no evidence and filed no motions. I was found guilty. I believe it is because jury was not presented with any evidence to the contrary

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If you believe your attorney failed to provide effective representation by not presenting evidence or following a reasonable defense strategy, you may have grounds to appeal your conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

In the U.S., the standard for ineffective assistance is governed by the two-pronged test from Strickland v. Washington: first, you must show that your attorney's performance was deficient and, second, that the deficient performance prejudiced the defense to the extent that you were deprived of a fair trial. It is not sufficient for an attorney to simply avoid actions due to potential objections; they must act in your best interest and make strategic decisions that help your case.

To pursue this, you would typically need to file a motion for a new trial or an appeal where a higher court can review the decisions made in your case. It would be advisable to consult with a new attorney to discuss the specifics of your trial and potential avenues for appeal. Remember, time is a critical factor in these matters, as there are often strict deadlines for filing appeals.

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