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Name: U.S. v. Sandoval-Mendoza
Case #: 04-10118
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/27/2006

A court order limiting attorney-client discussion during client testimony may violate the 6th Amendment right to counsel. Here the district court ordered appellant and his lawyer not to discuss appellant’s testimony during any of the recesses occurring over the span of direct and cross examinations although permitted them to discuss anything else. One of the recesses was overnight. In Perry v. Leeke, 48 U.S. 272 (1989), the Supreme court held that the trial court’s prohibiting of all communication between the defendant and his lawyer during a 15 minute recess between direct and cross examination did not result in a 6th Amendment violation. In Geders v. United States (1976) 425 U.S. 80, prohibiting all communication overnight was a violation. In the instant case, the court found that any overnight ban fell on the Geders side and violated the 6th Amendment. The court did not need to consider whether reversal was required as it reversed on other, unrelated grounds.