Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fourth Circuit holds that a knowing waiver to jury trial is not dependent upon a good attorney-client relationship

In United States v. Boynes, Boynes argued that he "could not have" knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his right to a jury trial because his relationship with his attorney was "characterized by adversarial contentious interactions." The Fourth Circuit rejected this argument.

A knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver and contentiousattorney-client interactions are not mutually exclusive. Although there are no doubt circumstances calling into question the validity of a jury waiver that would require reversal if not sufficiently resolved by the district court, that is certainly not the case here. On this record we are presented with a presumptively valid written waiver, a full hearing on the validity of the waiver in open court, and a judicial finding that the waiver is knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. The district court noted there is "no evidence" that Everhart filed the motion to waive jury trial without Boynes’ consent.

No comments: