Attorney conflicts of interest is a smaller known claim that relates to ineffective assistance of counsel on an 11.07 Writ of Habeas Corpus. In terms of ineffective assistance of counsel, this means that the attorney might have had a conflict of interest, meaning they represented some adverse party previously, or at the same time.
This can apply if you’re looking at a situation where you have co-defendants and the attorney was either appointed, retained to represent several co-defendants, the attorney potentially had a previous client, or other current clients that somehow conflicted in their representation of you.
This could have made them want to be loyal to that client over being loyal to you and caused you to have actual harm in your case.
That’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim that can be brought up because it’s a violation of the defendant’s right to counsel if the counsel was burdened by an actual conflict of interest and the conflict had an adverse effect on specific instances of counsel’s performance.
That’s something you need to think about, as a good example of this is the case Monreale v. State from the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1997, which you should look into if you want more insight on this writ ground.
The other thing to think about is that this conflict of interest has to be an actual conflict, not just a potential conflict. You will need to point to those specific instances where you think that actual conflict interfered with the attorney’s ability.
An example might be that your attorney represented two clients, you and someone else, and that other client happened to be a person that could benefit you in your trial through testimony in your case, but they didn’t want to call that person as a witness because he represented that person in their capacity as attorney for that person.
They thought it would not be in that person’s best interest to come to testify because they might incriminate themselves or something like that. Because of this, they advised that person not to testify, and then they didn’t call the person into your case.
That’s an actual conflict of interest and that’s prejudiced in your case because had they not been representing that person, or had they not been representing you, the circumstances might have played out differently. That’s an interesting thing to think about if you potentially have that issue in your case. You can look at that case, Monreale v. State, DeCoster v. State, and Cuyler, v. Sullivan to learn more about this 11.07 Writ ground.
In the Clinton Young case of Midland County, Texas, where this young man was on death row, an attorney was doing work for the Judge in the case which resulted in the conviction being tossed and a new trial ordered. That relationship has also tainted over 350 other Midland County convictions over the past 20 years.
About The Attorney
Jacob Blizzard is board certified in both criminal law and criminal appellate law.
He regularly practices in the areas of state and federal criminal defense, criminal appeals, post conviction writs of habeas corpus.
In Texas, there are more than 100,000 attorneys licensed to practice, but only 7,450 are board certified.
In the entire State of Texas, as of the 2019 certification year, there were only 87 attorneys board certified in both criminal law and criminal appellate law, making Mr. Blizzard one of 0.087% of attorneys in Texas to hold both of those certifications.