Brief for Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Chief Defenders Association of New York in Support of Defendant-Appellant.
Argument: This Court should hold that counsel who, like Mr. Arjune’s counsel, abandon their clients rather than perfecting their appeals or apprising them of their right to substitute counsel are ineffective. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that criminal defendants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel during appeals as of right, and this Court has held that such defendants are entitled to “meaningful representation” during such appeals. Counsel was ineffective by abandoning Mr. Arjune after noticing his appeal without ensuring that new counsel was substituted and without even apprising his client of his right to counsel on appeals. Requiring an attorney who notices an appeal to assist his or her client in obtaining substitute counsel for the appeal both ensures that the guarantee of effective assistance is fulfilled and is administratively workable.
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Immigrant Defense Project as Amici Curiae in Support of Petition (On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the New York Court of Appeals).
Argument: This Court should grant certiorari to clarify counsel’s constitutional obligation under Flores-Ortega to consult with criminal defendants regarding their right to appeal. This Court has held that criminal defendants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel during appeals as of right. Professional Rules of Conduct provide a template for protecting the Sixth Amendment rights of defendants like Mr. Arjune who must obtain separate counsel to pursue an appeals and must be followed to ensure effective assistance of counsel. Mr. Arjune’s counsel flagrantly violated the foregoing principles and abandoned Mr. Arjune on appeal. The Court should grant certiorari to clarify that a notice provided by the trial court clerk is not a substitute for effective assistance of counsel. The Court should grant certiorari to clarify the relationship between Flores-Ortega and Padilla regarding an obligation to advise noncitizen defendants of the potential impact of an appeal on immigration status.