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Name: People v. Foley (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 653
Case #: C097140
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/29/2023

Denial of Penal Code section 1172.6 resentencing petition reversed where defendant was denied his constitutional right to conflict-free representation. Defendant Foley and codefendant Gladden were tried together and convicted of murder under a felony-murder theory. Neither man was the actual killer. In 2019, both petitioned for resentencing under section 1172.6. The trial court issued an OSC. At the consolidated evidentiary hearing, the same attorney represented both Foley and Gladden. Counsel argued that neither defendant nor Gladden were major participants who acted with reckless indifference to human life, but acknowledged that Gladden “certainly [had] the stronger petition.” The court granted Gladden’s…

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Name: People v. Panighetti (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 978
Case #: C095100
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/25/2023

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying multiple Marsden motions where disputes between trial counsel and defendant were over tactical decisions and trial counsel presented a defense consistent with the law. Defendant and Jill Doe practiced bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism (BDSM) over a number of years together. Doe contacted police several times throughout the relationship when the encounters turned violent. Doe and Defendant reconnected in 2020 and their initial consensual sexual encounter was followed by violent encounters. Defendant was charged with multiple sex offenses. At trial, the jury rejected the defense that, by virtue of Doe's written…

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Name: Christeson v. Roper
Case #: 14-6873
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 01/20/2015

Defendant is entitled to conflict-free counsel to argue for equitable tolling of AEDPA where his appointed attorneys missed his filing deadline. Petitioner was convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to death. The State (Missouri) affirmed judgment on direct appeal and denied post conviction motions for relief. His federal writ petition was due by April 10, 2005 under AEDPA's statute of limitations (28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)). Nine months before the deadline, attorneys were appointed to represent petitioner in federal proceedings; they failed to meet with him until six weeks after the deadline for filing and filed his petition 117…

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Name: Joshua P. v. Superior Court (Los Angeles County)
Case #: B253564
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/29/2014

Juvenile court abused its discretion by refusing to allow public defender (PD) to represent a qualified juvenile ward absent a showing that the accused was not indigent or a conflict existed. Joshua was the subject of juvenile delinquency proceedings based on a number of petitions filed over the course of three years. On the first two petitions filed in the Eastlake District, the public defender (PD) declared a conflict and private counsel was appointed. By the time a third petition was filed in Compton, the conflict no longer existed and the PD assumed representation. On the fourth and fifth petitions,…

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Name: Harris v. Superior Court
Case #: B251071
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/25/2014

Where trial counsel's representation at preliminary hearing was compromised due to conflict of interest, the information must be set aside because defendant was denied a substantial right to the effective assistance of counsel. Harris was arrested for drug crimes. Unknown to Harris and the trial court, his retained attorney, Diaz, had been arrested for felonies by the same officer who arrested Harris and was facing charges to be prosecuted by the same entity (Los Angeles District Attorney) who was prosecuting Harris. Diaz represented Harris at his preliminary hearing, after which Harris was bound over. Represented by new counsel, Harris sought…

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Name: People v. Bhasin
Case #: E046137
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/20/2009

A defendant's constitutional right to counsel of choice may be limited by the court's authority to maintain the orderly process of justice under the circumstances. Appellant was initially prosecuted for loan fraud and identity theft in Riverside County. Using the identity of Ferguson, he obtained a $50,000 bank loan for an inoperable 1994 Mercedes Benz possessed by Auto Market, a business owned by the Dawood brothers. Appellant enlisted Ferguson to tow the vehicle, which had no engine or transmission, from Orange County to Riverside County and to sign the bill of sale on the car. A few days before commencement…

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Name: People v. Lopez et al.
Case #: F053389
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/24/2008

To obtain relief for a conflict of interest, appellant must show either (1) an actual conflict which adversely affected trial counsel’s performance, or (2) informed speculation with a factual basis in the appellate record regarding a potential conflict that adversely affected counsel’s performance. During trial the parties became aware that the public defender’s office had previously represented one of the prosecution’s witnesses. While the witness was willing to waive any conflict of interest, appellant was not. But, the county public defender told the court it saw no conflict because the deputy representing appellant never represented the witness,…

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Name: In re Charlisse C.
Case #: S152822
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 10/30/2008

In cases involving a potential conflict of interest, the standard for disqualification in cases involving successive representation is "vicarious disqualification," which is different and less stringent than the standard in simultaneous representation cases. In July 2006, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) filed a petition alleging that baby Charlisse came within the court's dependency jurisdiction. The petition alleged that her mother put her at serious physical and mental harm and had also abused her sister. The juvenile court appointed the Children's Law Center (CLC) to represent Charlisse. CLC was a nonprofit law…

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Name: People v. Bolton
Case #: D050721
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/27/2008

A defendant is not required to choose between the constitutional rights to speedy trial and assistance of counsel when he has not created the circumstances causing him to have to choose. Appellant was charged with several counts of assault-type behavior resulting from two separate incidents. Prior to trial, two attorneys had declared conflicts and withdrawn. At an in camera proceeding four days before trial, at which appellant was not present, the third attorney advised the court that appellant had been verbally abusive to the attorney's staff; that he suspected appellant was going to offer perjured testimony; and that he suspected…

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Name: People v. Carrillo
Case #: B199656
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 06/09/2008

The trial court did not err when it refused to compel the attendance of witnesses from Mexico. During his murder trial, Carrillo unsuccessfully sought to have the prosecutor and the trial court help him obtain evidence or secure the trial attendance of witnesses who lived in Mexico and could not be compelled to testify. According to the defense, one witness was present when the victim was shot and heard a dying declaration that the shooter was someone else. The trial court denied appellant's motions, and the appellate court affirmed the denial. Carillo's motion was not supported by…

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