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Name: U.S. v. Christakis
Case #: 99-55298
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/30/2001
Subsequent History: None

A California attorney represented both Christakis, who had been indicted in a drug conspiracy, and DiCesare, who Christakis claimed was an unindicted co-conspirator. On appeal, Christakis claimed that the lawyer’s advocacy was adversely affected by his interest in keeping DiCesare from being implicated. In particular, the attorney failed to advise Christakis to consider exchanging information concerning DiCesare for a reduced sentence. The appellate court here reversed and remanded for an evidentiary hearing. If the attorney represented both men simultaneously, he actively represented conflicting interests. It was unnecessary to show that appellant was prejudiced by the conflict, only that the conflict influenced the attorney’s decision not to advise Christakis to consider the option of cooperating with the government in exchange for a reduced sentence. Therefore, an evidentiary hearing was necessary to determine whether this occurred.