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How can I find a good Federal Court Attorney?

Philadelphia, PA |

After the Superior Court of Pennsylvania have decided on a PCRA Appeal. I will have approximately 8 and half months to have a family member Federal Habeas Corpus filed in Philadelphia. I'm looking for someone who will be willing to work with my grandparents and that is affordable. I'm looking for a Federal Attorney who will put all their time into helping with the case. If anyone is interested you may contact me via email to discuss the case when you have responded to the posting. I want to start looking for options being as though if I wait until the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has decided the clock will then start ticking leaving the Attorney with little time to get familiar with the case.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Try the NACDL membership list for your area or call Peter Goldberg or Anna Durbin to see if they are interested (they could be very busy or not affordable or both) but if they cannot take your case they most certainly can refer you to someone who is reliable, and appropriate for your case and that you find affordable.

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Posted

Hi there again. You will have to wait longer than the rendering of the Superior Court's decision. Before you can avail yourself of federal habeas relief you must exhaust state remedies. That would be a petition for allocatur before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

I already consulted with Counsel and have been told after the PCRA to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. I will have the option of going to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania or go straight to the Federal Court Habeas Corpus.

Asker

Posted

No. Appealing denial of his PCRA to the Superior Court is all that he is required to do for exhaustion. He is not required to seek review from the PA Supreme Court. In re Exhaustion of State Remedies in Criminal and Post-Conviction Relief Cases, No. 218 Judicial Administration Docket No. 1 (Pa. May 9, 2000); Lambert v Blackwell, 387 F3d 210, 233-34 (3d Cir 2004). Nor is he required to seek review in the US Supreme Court. Lawrence v. Florida, 549 US 327, 333 (2007).

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

I stand corrected. Prior practice required a petition to our (PA) Supreme Court to establish exhaustion of state remedies. That has been changed by the efforts of our highest court that did not want to have to look at all of those cases. Review by the PA Supreme Court is optional.

Posted

Mr. Jones is correct on the steps that must be followed. It is way too early to be preparing for federal court relief.

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Asker

Posted

The PCRA STAGE will be done after this I have talked to other lawyers and being as though the Supreme Court Level is not necessary it's an option at this point if I need more time.

Posted

The attorney who explained that you must exhaust all avenues of relief in state court is correct. Assuming no relief on state appeal, you will definitely want to find an attorney who specializes in federal cases, and can properly advise you as to the availability and likelihood of relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. When making your inquires, you should ask if they are, or have been, a member of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel.

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