9th Circ. Says No-Show Witness A Mark Of An 'Ineffective' Atty

Law360, New York (August 5, 2013, 5:29 PM EDT) -- A defense attorney's unfulfilled promise during an opening statement to produce a witness at trial may constitute ineffective assistance of counsel, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday, becoming at least the fourth federal circuit to reach that conclusion.

A three-judge panel ruled that a defendant may state a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel if his or her attorney promises that a certain witness will testify, only for the witness to back out.

“A juror’s impression is fragile. It is shaped by his confidence in counsel’s integrity,”...
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