March 03, 2005
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel???
Posted by Christine Hurt

Professor Jan Levine of Temple just posted on a legal writing listserv this electronic recording of an unbelievable appellate argument heard in front of the 7th Circuit yesterday: here. The panel was Bauer, Easterbrook, and Sykes.  The counsel for appellant in a search and seizure case (U.S. v. Johnson, 04-2732) stumbles around for less than 3 1/2 minutes, basically gives up his argument, and appears (to my ears?) to maybe even walk out of the courtroom.  Even when Milwaukee's own Diane Sykes is trying to help him, counsel refuses to be helped.  The appellant made an in forma pauperis filing, so I assume his counsel was appointed.  Maybe he had better things to do yesterday or else is planning a really clever "inassistance of counsel" appeal.

The briefs are inaccessible electronically; I would have loved to have read his brief!

UPDATE:  The link wasn't working a minute ago, but it's working now.  If it goes bad again, you can play it from the 7th Circuit site.  Unless the link gets removed -- it is embarassing.

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