NACDL Ethics Opinion: 2255 Waivers Are Unethical

For years, federal criminal defendants have been forced to give up their right to appeal in order to accept a federal deal. Prosecutors have lately been pushing for waivers of 2255 (post-conviction motions) as well. There has been huge push back. In October, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys issued an ethics opinion condemning this practice. The ethics opinion is a wealth of resources and a great place to start the research on the subject.

Michigan Needs to Recognize the Title “Appellate Specialist”

Michigan needs to follow the lead of states like Florida and recognize the title “appellate specialist.” Until they do, individuals who devote their career to appeals are going to need to turn to third-party organizations to obtain objective proof of their skills. When this happens, the attorney is effectively buying a law suit or a disciplinary proceeding over what is effectively commercial free speech.
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Aggression for Aggression's Sake Does Not Make Someone a Good Lawyer

One of the most frequent calls I get is from family members who think they are sounding reasonable and saying “all I want is a time cut.” I understand that one of the things the family is trying to say is that they not contesting guilt. The problem is that Michigan has limited options for sentencing reductions. I wish it was that easy. The full blog article is my long response.
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Virginia Bar Says that Prosecutor Cannot Demand Waiver of IAC or Post-Conviction Challenges as a Condition of a Plea Agreement

The Virginia State Bar recently issued a Legal Ethics Opinion (LEO 1857) that addresses these issues by declaring it unethical for a defense attorney to recommend these provisions, and made it unethical for a prosecutor to require waivers of post-conviction challenges (e.g. 6.500 motions) or waivers of ineffective assistance of counsel challenges as a condition of a plea agreement.

Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Non-Refundable Engagement Fees

War in the Macomb Circuit Court: Prosecutor Refuses to Offer Plea Bargains in Judge Biernat's Court