Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I have a question my boyfriend has been in jail for 6 years....for 6 years his case was pending and then it came down to them asking him to either take a deal for 20 years or take it to trial with the possibility of life if hes still found guilty....he took it to trial and lost and got sentenced for life in prison for attempted murder..so he fired his old lawyer that defended him in his trial and hired an appeal lawyer and a lawyer to defend him...now before hes getting sentenced to prison hes filing for a motion to appeal against his old lawyer because he didnt defend him right in his trial he lost...now that old lawyer is telling the judge that if hes filing a motion against me im going to put out all his statements out that hes made about his case to his old lawyer which was supposed to be personal im wondering can he do that and what can possibly happen from this?

Asked on 2/01/12, 8:31 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Glen Fleetwood Mister DUI-800-468-2-502
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He is claiming malpractice (IAC) which vitiates the attorney client privilege. YEP, the attorney can reveal confidences and secrets to rebut the malpractice claim. Most attorneys do NOT do that. But these IAC appeals rarely go anywhere, best move on.

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2/01/12, 9:05 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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Your question isn't entirely clear. Your boyfriend doesn't need to file "a motion to appeal", since all convicted defendants have an absolute right to appeal as long as they do so in a timely manner.

You say that he brought a motion against his former lawyer, but that also is not how things really work. He may have brought some kind of motion alleging that the lawyer represented him badly, or he may be planning to sue the lawyer for malpractice. He may also be filing a habeas corpus petition on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC). Or he may simply be arguing in his appeal the trial counsel was ineffective.

Depending upon which of these options your boyfriend is pursuing and the surrounding facts, the lawyer may indeed have the right to disclose otherwise privileged communications in order to defend himself. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing to do, but I don't know enough about the case to have an opinion on this point.

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2/02/12, 11:22 am

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