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Name: Lockhart v. Terhune
Case #: 99-16010
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/14/2001
Subsequent History: Amended on rehg. den. 3/27/01 at 250 F.3d 1223
Summary

Reversal was required where trial counsel had an actual conflict of interest. Lockhart’s appointed counsel was also appointed to represent another man who was implicated in an earlier homicide. Prosecutors intended to introduce evidence in Lockhart’s murder trial that he had committed the same earlier homicide. Lockhart filed a written waiver of the conflict. However, a criminal defendant’s right to counsel includes the right to be represented by an attorney with undivided loyalty. Prejudice is presumed where there was an “actual conflict of interest,” and a harmless error analysis does not apply. Here, there was no question but that there was an actual conflict. The record in this case gave little reason to believe that Lockhart was fully informed about the specific consequences of the conflict of interest before he waived it. Therefore, his waiver was not knowing and intelligent. Therefore, the denial of Lockhart’s petition for writ of habeas corpus was reversed.