Claims against court appointed attorney in Las Vegas
Inadequate communication - failed to return calls and e-mails asking for counseling / advice concerning major issues during pretrial
Lack of Diligence - Ignored information / evidence that I had forwarded via e-mail, failed to search public records, heeded my requests for subpoenas, professional witnesses,
Failure to Follow Client Directives - Would be evasive about answering my questions concerning statutes, evidence and proceedings. Would never consider my thoughts or advice pertaining to my defense.
Truthfulness in Statements to Others - Lied in court three separate times. The first two were not in my presence and harmed me in irrevocable ways, including wrongful incarceration for two months.
Incompetent - He failed to negotiate both plea offerings, had investigator attempt to intimidate me into accepting first plea before all of my evidence was produced and examined. Ignored 19 e-mails with 60 attached documents of evidence stating that the U.S. Attorney was not interested in any of it.
Inadequate Investigation - the Investigator he had retained had promised to come to California to gather documents of evidence crucial to my defense but never showed. Of a list of 22 possible witnesses to testify on my behalf, he had not deposed or subpoenaed a single one. Refused to subpoena three businesses for records that could exonerate me. Miscalculated values of evidence in question and ignored my suggestions for correction. He also ignored additional evidence that I had at my residence once I was incarcerated.
Failure to File any Motions during Pretrial - Not once did attorney file or discuss any court documents filed on my behalf.
Inadequate Counseling/Advice - He would avoid my pleas for help continuously throughout pretrial and when he lied in court with a statement that his internet “went down” after e-mailing me that my next court date would be extended, he refused to return my daily pleas for advice concerning a bench warrant that resulted in a two month incarceration.
Improper Withdrawal of Representation - When I had filed a motion from jail to dismiss counsel, he protested and convinced the court of adequate representation. When the judge denied my motion, I realized that it would be legal suicide to have this attorney represent me in a trial with this judge residing. This shook me with fear as I realized that my only option was to sign a plea against my will and beliefs. The following court day the judge now smiled at me as he questioned me under oath about the plea and released me from jail for 90 days. The worst part about committing perjury in signing a plea was that my attorney stood right next to me during the hearing and many of the questions concerned him and his counseling technically helping me to lie.
Failed to Competently Analyze Legal Issues and Exercise Knowledge of the Law - To date, my court appointed attorney has failed to explain in detail and counsel me on the discovery, the first plea offer or the ramifications of accepting a plea and has never discussed potential defense strategies
All claims have supporting evidence.
Now, after adamantly professing my innocence from the beginning, I find myself facing 5+ years in prison based on a guilty plea and have never had “my day in court”. All I had wanted was for a professional to do his job as expected and not be detrimental to my case, life and liberty. Sentencing is scheduled for July 8, 2013 and this attorney has not advised me (once again) on any preparation. I fear for my life and my family’s well being and I have no idea of what to do…
You have court appointed counsel. Unless you are willing to hire investigators and fund a defense, court appointed counsel has little duty to investigate. Court appointed counsel simply needs to protect your rights and observe the basic standards of diligence in our profession. In many cases, that equates to simply conveying plea offers from the US Attorney (or other prosecuting agency) in a "take it or leave it" fashion. Having done some public work myself, there is little budget to pay for the type of investigations that many clients desire. There is a world of difference between public and private representation. It is not that public attorneys and court appointed attorneys are untalented. The bottom line is that defense costs money. When you privately hire counsel, they will advise you how much a defense of this caliber will cost. Keep in mind, investigations must be done by a private investigator that is hired by the attorney at your expense.
Public attorneys are obligated to protect your basic rights. Private attorneys have an incentive to make sure the client is fully satisfied.
If you are innocent, you have to maintain your plea of not guilty. You entered into a plea bargain, and it is very difficult to withdraw a plea bargain. You could still hire private counsel to review the plea bargain and attempt to withdraw it. But, once you have signed a plea bargain, it is very unlikely that it can be withdrawn. Perhaps you could hire private counsel to argue sentencing.
First, it isn't the prosecution's fault that your attorney is not adequately representing you, so the chances of a dismissal based upon your argument that your lawyer has screwed you will not result in dismissal of the charges. It could result in withdrawal of your guilty plea. You need to retain private counsel.As another attorney here stated, a private attorney is charged not only with minimally protecting your rights, but also with zealously defending you and fully preparing your defense. If you aren't paying, unfortunately, you will usually get someone who will put minimal effort into representing you.
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