Successful Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Examples

People v. Grant, 684 N.W.2d 686 (Mich. 2004).
Counsel ineffective in criminal sexual conduct case for failing to adequately investigate and substantiate the defendant's primary defense. The defendant was charged with three counts of sexual abuse on his girlfriend's two nieces. The first alleged incident to the older girl resulted in physical injury, but was reported at the time as a bicycle accident. A year later, another allegation involving both girls arose and the older girl asserted that her previous injury was due to assault rather than a bicycle accident. Counsel's conduct was deficient in failing to investigate to seek evidence concerning the accident because counsel was aware of the girl's initial report, the initial doctor's finding that the injury was more consistent with a bicycle accident that abuse, and the defendant's insistence of innocence. Although the defendant provided counsel with a number of potential witnesses, counsel did not adequately pursue the matter. Prejudice established because adequate investigation would have revealed that two cousins of the girls witnessed the bicycle accident and would have testified accordingly. If counsel had been able to establish that the physical injury had been due to the accident, it would have called the credibility of the alleged victim's into question and the other allegations involved only a credibility contest between them and the defendant. Thus, the court found a reasonable probability of a different outcome.

Walker v. State, 195 S.W.3d 250 (Tex. App. 2006)
Counsel ineffective in resisting arrest case for several reasons. First, counsel's conduct was deficient in failing to ask any questions in voir dire even after six members of the jury venire identified themselves as working or having close relatives who worked in law enforcement and made statements indicating potential prejudice or bias. Counsel used peremptories to remove two of these jurors but otherwise failed to conduct voir dire or challenge these biased jurors for cause. Counsel was also ineffective in failing to conduct an appropriate investigation and to object to inadmissible evidence of extraneous offenses and bad acts that were irrelevant to the trial for resisting arrest. This evidence included evidence of another person at the scene being arrested for possession of drugs, the defendant having previously disturbed the peace by firing an automatic weapon, and a 20-year-old misdemeanor conviction for assault on an officer. Counsel failed to object to this evidence because he was not familiar with the appropriate admissibility standards and also failed to request a limiting instruction. Here, where the defendant's credibility was critical to the defense, counsel should have investigated, filed appropriate discovery, prepared the defendant for his testimony, filed motions in limine to prevent the inadmissible evidence from coming before the jury, and objected and requested a limiting instruction when the evidence did come before the jury. Counsel was also ineffective in sentencing for failing to adequately investigate and opening the door to cross-examination of the defendant about numerous arrests for concealed weapons, criminal mischief, assault, and reckless conduct. Counsel also failed to object to the court's failure to instruct the jury in sentencing that evidence of unadjudicated offenses could not be considered unless the offenses were proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant was prejudiced even though unadjudicated offenses were admissible under state law because the state did not offer any of this evidence or raise the issue until counsel asked the defendant broadly in redirect if he had "any problems with law violations." Prejudice found because evidence of extraneous offenses is inherently prejudicial. The prejudice in sentencing was particularly clear because the state recommended probation only, but the jury sentenced the defendant to 180 days in jail and a $2000 fine in addition to probation.