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Some Thoughts on Inadequate Appointed Counsel in Michigan

Some Thoughts on Inadequate Appointed Counsel in Michigan

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Published by DougDante
Inadequate appointed counsel or court appointed lawyers in Michigan. Some thoughts by a layperson regarding bringing to the court's attention a lawyer who is not adequate.
Inadequate appointed counsel or court appointed lawyers in Michigan. Some thoughts by a layperson regarding bringing to the court's attention a lawyer who is not adequate.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: DougDante on Jul 21, 2010


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Some Thoughts on Inadequate Appointed Counsel in Michigan
Doug DanteDougDante1@yahoo.comWednesday, July 21, 2010I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.Some people have complained that Michigan sometimes offers attorneys for indigent defendants whoare inadequate.
"We are shocked and disturbed by the Supreme Court's about-face," said Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director. "Today's order prevents us from proving what most observers already know -- Michigan's justice system is broken for poor people accused of crimes."  High Court kills lawsuit forcing state to pay more for poor defendants Doug Guthrie / The Detroit NewsJuly 17. 2010http://detnews.com/article/20100717/METRO/7170336#ixzz0uJeitBqp 
I believe that the same would apply to people similarly represented by court appointed attorneys inother contexts, including family law, where not only their freedom, but also both the welfare of andtheir relationship with their children is often being adjudicated. Sadly, in the later case, the court mayadditionally face substantial financial conflicts of interest in their case. Worse, there is evidence ofcorruption, including fraud and racketeering, at the Friend of the Court, an employee of the court. Seealso:
 A Quick Summary of Title IV-D Funding and Incentives Doug Dantehttp://www.scribd.com/doc/630611/A-Quick-Summary-of-Title-IVD- Funding-and-Incentives  A Review of Friend of the Court Legislative Changes: Suffer the LittleChildren Doug Dantehttp://www.scribd.com/doc/29563848/A-Review-of-Friend-of-the-Court-
As a non-lawyer, I feel that the Michigan Appellate Digest may offer some guidance to indigentdefendants of all types who would like to bring to the attention of the court what they feel is inadequateperformance by their court appointed attorney.
Counsel - Appointed - Substitution - Standard - Good Cause An indigent defendant is guaranteed the right to counsel, but he is not entitled to have the attorney of his choice appointed simply by requestingthat the attorney originally appointed be replaced. Appointment of substitute counsel is warranted only upon a showing of good cause and if substitution will not unreasonably disrupt the judicial process. Goodcause exists when a legitimate difference of opinion develops between adefendant and his appointed counsel with regard to a fundamental trialtactic
People V Bauder: Michigan Appellate DigestIf I were in such a situation, I might say something like "Your honor, I request that my attorney bereplaced. Under People V Bauder (COA# 256186, December 8, 2005) this is warranted if there is goodcause, including 'when a legitimate different of opinion develops between the defendant and hisappointed counsel regarding a fundamental trial tactic'. Your honor, my lawyer's only trial tactic hasbeen to ask me to plead guilty over and over. I'm not guilty, and I want to fight this case. The decisionto roll over and play dead or to fight is a fundamental trial tactic. The difference between the twotactics is legitimate. Therefore, I request the right to an attorney who's going to help me fight for myrights, and not just throw me under the bridge, whether because he/she thinks it's in my best interests,or if he/she just think it's the most expedient way to dispense of my case and be rid of me."
Counsel - Appointed - Substitution - Standard - Good Cause - Hearing - Necessity"When a defendant asserts that his assigned attorney is not adequate ordiligent, or is disinterested, the trial court should hear his claim and, if there is a factual dispute, take testimony and state its findings andconclusion on the record. In this case, after appointed defense counselinformed the defendant that the prosecutor would not accept a plea to acharge less than first-degree murder, the defendant refused to furthercommunicate with his lawyer. Defense counsel then moved the court towithdraw representation, and at the hearing on the motion, the prosecutor confirmed that he would not accept any plea bargain whichentailed less than a life sentence in prison. The trial court concluded that substitution of counsel would have no effect on the prosecutor's positionor on trial tactics, and denied substitution. Under the circumstances, thetrial court did not abuse its discretion in denying substitution of counsel." 

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