Sunday, April 26, 2009

Single Failure to Object Constituted Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Requiring Reversal

In People v Brown (2009 NY Slip Op 03334 4th Dept 4/24/09) the Court held that a single failure, specifically the "defense counsel's failure to object to the admission in evidence of the victim's medical records, which contained information concerning prior allegations of sexual abuse against defendant" constituted ineffective assistance of counsel requiring reversal of a conviction for sexual abuse in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child.

The Court explained that under the circumstances of this case, that failure alone constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel because it was "so egregious and prejudicial' as to deprive [the] defendant of his constitutional right" to a fair trial (People v Turner, 5 NY3d 476, 480)."

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