Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Supreme Court holds that in PCR setting decision whether to seek writ of cert is within attorney's discretion

In Douglas v. State, the Supreme Court considered whether the circuit court erred in granting leave to appeal in a PCR context where petitioner's direct appeal attorney did not to pursue discretionary review. Apparently, the PCR judge granted petitioner the right to seek a belated writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision on direct appeal under the belief that case law compelled the attorney to seek a writ even though the attorney saw no merit in the appeal. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the decision whether to pursue certiorari is a matter left solely to the appellant's attorney's professional discretion.

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