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3 Signs You Had Ineffective Counsel

Did you know that if your legal counsel provides ineffective assistance during your case and that is deemed the reason you lost your case, it may be grounds for an appeal and could even be ordered to a retrial by a judge? Cornell Law cites a case from 1984 (Strickland v. Washington) where it was decided that "to prove ineffective assistance, a defendant must show (1) that their trial lawyer's performance fell below an "objective standard of reasonableness" and (2) "a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different."

1. Ineffective Counsel Files Case Notices Late

When it comes to handling your case, it's all about timing. Often judges will cite attorneys for not filing notices on time. If your attorney missed multiple deadlines during your case, this can be used as a point of reference for your ineffective counsel appeal.

2. Ineffective Counsel Behaves Unprofessionally

If your attorney is often late to meetings or doesn't keep you informed about your case, this can be considered unprofessional behavior as it's their job to keep you up to date on what's happening in your case. Also, if it's discovered that your attorney had a relationship of any sort with one of the opposing side's friends or relatives, this is considered a conflict of interest and unprofessional. Your attorney is representing you, and therefore is a reflection of who you are. Unprofessional behavior is highly frowned upon and could be reason for ineffective counsel.

3. Ineffective Counsel Makes Case Law Mistakes

Was your legal counsel called out repeatedly during trial by the opposing counsel? Did they mix up case law and use terminology wrong? These are signs of ineffective counsel. Another example of making case law mistakes would be if your attorney doesn't hire an expert witness to counter testimony from the prosecutor's expert. If situations like these happened several times throughout the trial, this is a major sign of ineffective counsel.

If you or someone you know have been a victim of ineffective assistance from legal during counsel, then you might want to consider appealing your case. With an experienced criminal defense attorney like Russell Spatz looking into your case, he can help to prove ineffective counsel during your original case and can assist you in achieving the outcome you deserve. Give him a call today at (305) 442-0200 to see what he can do for you.


Hashmall, Mr. Joe. "Ineffective Assistance of Counsel." Legal Information Institute, Legal Information Institute, 29 May 2015,

"5 Signs You May Have Ineffective Counsel." Findlaw,

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