Supreme Court of Georgia
513 S.E.2d 493 (1999)
Mark Fogarty (defendant) was arrested and charged by the State of Georgia with kidnapping, aggravated assault, battery, and stalking. Without Fogarty’s knowledge, Fogarty’s wife entered into an agreement to pay Fogarty’s counsel a $25,000 advanced fee. Fogarty’s wife and counsel also agreed that if the charges against Fogarty were dismissed and a different suspect identified, the fee would be reduced to $10,000. Fogarty’s charges were not dismissed. The jury acquitted Fogarty of some counts but found him guilty on others. Fogarty appealed his conviction and argued that the fee arrangement between his wife and counsel created a conflict of interest for his counsel, which adversely affected his counsel’s performance. Specifically, Fogarty argued that his counsel would receive more money if the case were not dismissed, and therefore, his counsel had no incentive to have the case dismissed. The appeals court affirmed Fogarty’s conviction. The appeals court concluded that, although the arrangement between Fogarty’s counsel and Fogarty’s wife was an improper contingency-fee arrangement, Fogarty did not prove that the fee arrangement affected his counsel’s performance. Fogarty appealed, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Carley, J.)
Concurrence (Sears, J.)
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