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Name: Campbell v. Rice
Case #: 99-17311
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/05/2001
Subsequent History: None

The denial of a habeas petition was reversed where the trial court failed to make a sufficient inquiry into defense counsel’s conflict of interest. Petitioner was convicted of eighteen counts of first degree burglary. He was represented at trial by retained counsel, McCann. McCann was being prosecuted by the same district attorney’s office for a felony drug violation. The district attorney in chambers put that information on the record, and the court found there to be no conflict of interest. Campbell was not present for the discussion, was not advised of the conflict, no waiver of the conflict was sought, and no opportunity to retain different counsel was offered. The Ninth Circuit here found that there was a conflict of interest, and that the court had a duty to inquire further. The court had a duty to advise Campbell of the conflict and provide him an opportunity to either waive the conflict or seek new counsel. The failure to do so deprived Campbell of his right to effective assistance of counsel.