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Name: United States v. Fredman
Case #: 03-35808
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/10/2004

An attorney did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel by virtue of admitting the defendant’s wrongdoing during an opening statement. The defendant in this case had already been convicted of manufacturing charges in a California prosecution at the time of his prosecution on related charges in federal court. Counsel’s admission that the defendant was “a meth cook” was clearly calculated to build credibility with the jury by allowing the jury to learn this fact from defense counsel rather than from the prosecution and was part of a tactical strategy designed to establish that the defendant was willing to serve his time in California and to shift the jury’s focus to the guilt of codefendants. One judge wrote separately to caution defense counsel that a “confession and avoidance” tactic is not something that would ordinarily win a reviewing court’s approval.