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You Have a Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel in Alabama

Posted by Erik Fine | Nov 24, 2020 | 0 Comments


A Shelby County, Alabama Lawyer's Guide to Effective Assistance of Counsel 

Lawyer Fighting for Freedom
American Warrior for Justice

What is ineffective assistance of counsel?  Do you have a Right to an attorney in Alabama?  How good does your lawyer have to be?  Does the Constitution guarantee a Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel?  These are all questions that should concern someone charged with a crime in Alabama.  Criminal Defendant's have certain Rights that are guaranteed by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution.  The American warrior has also fought to protect these Rights throughout our short history as a state and a country.  Today, in the courtroom, it's a lawyer's job to fight for his client's Rights.  A good lawyer is an American Warrior for the Right's of his clients.  Patriotism is defined as the devotion to, and vigorous support for, one's country and to the values one's country represents. A good lawyer in America is an American Patriot.  That's why I started the Patriot Law Firm. My life and my career has been dedicated to the protection of the American Dream and the American Ideal.  Our country's promise is defined in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.  I represent clients charged with crimes in Shelby County, St. Clair County, Jefferson County, Cullman County and throughout Alabama with the philosophy of American Exceptionalism.  

An Alabama Lawyer's Oath 

I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alabama, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of an attorney and counselor at law to the best of my knowledge and ability.
The oath I have taken dictates that I stand-up for The Constitutions of the U.S. and the State of Alabama.  It also means that I must perform my duties effectively as your attorney.    Failure to act effectively as your attorney is a violation of the Constitution and my duty.  The Sixth Amendment's Right to Counsel means the effective assistance of counsel.  McMann v. Richardson397 U.S. 759, 771 n.14 (1970).  If a trial is conducted by the State of Alabama that is so unfair and your attorney's actions so poor, it is essentially a violation of your Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel. In Strickland v. Washington in 1984 the Supreme Court discussed what constitutes ineffective assistance by a lawyer.  466 U.S.668 (1984).
Strickland outlined a two-part test to look at a lawyers performance during trial: 
1. Counsel's performance was deficient
2. Counsel's performance was so deficient that it deprived the criminal defendant of a fair trial.  

 The main question in making this determination is whether or not the defense lawyer's performance was reasonable under all the circumstances.  In Strickland, for instance, a defendant plead guilty to multiple charges and included three capital murder charges.  The criminal defendant's lawyer called no witnesses at sentencing, did not request a psychological evaluation or present evidence of character or state of mind at sentencing.  The defendant's lawyer did not request a pre-sentence report nor did he offer other mitigating evidence or investigate the matter.  The defendant was ultimately sentenced to death. Clearly this lawyer's performance was extremely deficient, especially in a death penalty case.  It is my belief that such poor performance as a criminal defense lawyer violates the Constitution, and our duty as lawyers, as well as our Oath to the Constitution. Not all attorney mistakes are actionable or are as extreme as the attorney's mistake in Strickland. It is very difficult to obtain relief under an ineffective assistance of counsel claim in Alabama, or indeed in the entire Country.  In Alabama if you wish to challenge an attorney's mistakes you do so by filing a Rule 32 Petition.  If in Federal Court or if you've exhausted all State remedies, you'd file a Federal Habeas Petition.  Most Rule 32 Petitions are filed after all other Alabama Criminal Appeals have been filed, but no rule states this is a requirement.  A Rule 32 Petition for ineffective assistance of counsel must be filed within one-year of the denial of your original appeal.  It is imperative that you hire an experience post-conviction relief attorney as soon as possible if you suspect your lawyer did not provide effective assistance of counsel or if you have lost an appeal immediately.  

“If ever the time should come, when vain & aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

—Samuel Adams

 As a lawyer who flies my American flag proudly at my home in Sterrett, Alabama, I have devoted myself to the protection of our Constitution.  Whether it was in the Navy, or as a former police officer, a corrections officer or as your local lawyer, it's has been my honor and duty to defend your Constitutional Rights.  Please contact me if you have any questions about your Rights as an American or if you have been charged with ANY crime ANYWHERE in Alabama.  My oath demands that I fight for your Rights as if I were fighting for my own life or my own family. I swear that I am here for you the entire way, and that when you call me, you speak to me, not another lawyer, or an associate not as experienced, or even some paralegal or secretary, when you call me, you speak to me throughout the process.  I owe that to you.  God bless you, and God Bless America!  

American Soldiers and Lawyers
Fighting for Justice and the American Way
  "Freedom is only preserved by the blood, sweat and tears of those willing to fight for it's righteous cause"
--Attorney Erik Fine

About the Author

Erik Fine

Attorney Erik D. Fine, A.A., B.S., J.D. Mr. Fine, an Alabama native, is a graduate of Mountain Brook Public Schools. He received an athletic scholarship to play baseball at Kansas City Kansas Community College from which he graduated with an Associates Degree in Law Enforcement in 1989. It was i...


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Why Patriot Law Firm, LLC

Put attorney Erik Fine, an American Patriot and staunch defender of our Constitutional Rights with years of law enforcement experience and successful legal representation to work for you today. Like our forefathers, attorney Erik Fine will fight for your rights against oppression with passion, dignity, and unmatched relentlessness.