SADO Wins United States Supreme Court Case

Court Makes Clear the Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel Includes Plea Negotiations

On Wednesday March 21, 2012, the United States Supreme Court released the decision in Lafler v Cooper, finding that habeas relief was warranted due to ineffective assistance of counsel during the plea bargaining stage of the proceedings.  Lafler was argued by SADO Assistant Defender Valerie Newman on October 31, 2011, with Assistant Defender Jacqueline McCann serving as second chair.  You can listen to the argument on the Oyez Project's website.  The decisions in Lafler, and the related case of Missouri v Frye, are being hailed as "the single greatest revolution in the criminal justice process since provided indigents the right to counsel" - a quote from coverage in the New York Times, and expands the defendant's rights in plea deals, as described in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The National Law Journal.  The rulings will have a "huge, immediate impact" on guilty plea cases according to CNN.  Additional materials and full coverage of events can be found on Scotusblog's website.