Apr 022010

The following item caught my attention because of its relevancy to immigration law, but it potentially broadens the scope of US attorneys’ Sixth Amendment responsibilities to their clients.

The ABA Journal has a report on the recent Supreme Court’s ruling that

… lawyers have a Sixth Amendment obligation to warn their clients when their guilty pleas can result in deportation.
“We now hold that counsel must inform her client whether his plea carries a risk of deportation,” Stevens [writing the opinion] said. “Our long-standing Sixth Amendment precedents, the seriousness of deportation as a consequence of a criminal plea, and the concomitant impact of deportation on families living lawfully in this country demand no less.”

Justice Scalia wrote the dissent, which Justice Thomas joined.

The link provides the ABA’s article as well as a link to the Court’s opinion.  The ABA supported the Court’s decision.