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Defender’s trial strategy trumps inmate’s pro se early-trial request

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A prison inmate who asked for a public defender then said at an initial hearing he wanted to “file for fast and speedy trial too” lost his appeal that argued the court erred by not ruling on his request and his trial counsel was ineffective.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Class C felony forgery conviction in Randy E. Black v. State of Indiana, 01A04-1310-CR-526. Black was convicted after a bench trial in Adams Superior Court.

Black, who was serving a sentence in the Department of Correction on unrelated charges, was appointed a public defender during an initial hearing, then made a verbal request for an early trial. But because a defender had been appointed, that decision was a matter of strategy allocated to defense counsel, Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the panel.

The record also does not establish that public defender Albert Anzini III’s assistance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.

"Black provides no evidence that the decision not to pursue an early trial wasn’t a matter of strategy," Barnes wrote. "In fact, the record shows, that in March 2013, the State extended a plea offer, and Anzini hoped to have the matter resolved.

"The record also shows that Black’s incarceration in the DOC impacted Anzini’s ability to communicate with Black and to prepare a defense. At the April 23, 2013 hearing, Anzini and the State jointly moved for a continuance of the May trial date, and Anzini explained that he had 'not really had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Black in any meaningful fashion ... about his potential defenses.”





 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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