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Name: Edwards v. Lamarque
Case #: 04-55752
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/12/2005
Summary

Affirming the district court’s grant of a habeas petition, the appellate court held that trial counsel’s actions leading to the petitioner’s waiver of his marital privilege constituted ineffective assistance and prejudiced the petitioner. The court noted that under Miller-El v. Dretke, 125 S. Ct. 2317 (2005), the standard of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), that the habeas writ may be granted if the state court’s adjudication of a claim resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts, merges with the standard of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), that state court findings of fact are presumed correct unless the petitioner rebuts the presumption by clear and convincing evidence. The court found unreasonable the state court’s conclusion that counsel made a tactical decision to allow the petitioner to waive the marital privilege because the record showed that counsel did not understand the privilege. The panel also held that alternatively, even if the state court reasonably concluded that counsel made a tactical decision, it unreasonably applied Strickland v. Washington in finding such tactics themselves to be reasonable.