United States Supreme Court
463 U.S. 745 (1983)
David Barnes (plaintiff) was convicted of robbery and assault in a New York state court. Attorney Michael Melinger was assigned to represent Barnes on his appeal. Barnes asked Melinger to raise a number of issues on appeal, but Melinger concentrated on three of the issues, and rejected two others requested by Barnes. Barnes submitted a pro se brief presenting the three issues plus the other two issues rejected by Melinger to the appellate court. The appellate court affirmed Barnes’ conviction. After a number of post-conviction relief remedies proved unsuccessful, Barnes filed a writ of habeas corpus in federal district court against Jones (defendant), superintendent of the Great Meadow Correctional Facility where Barnes was incarcerated. Barnes alleged that Melinger’s failure to assert all the non-frivolous arguments Barnes had requested was a denial of his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel. The district court dismissed Barnes’ petition. A divided panel of the court of appeals reversed and held that Melinger was required to assert all legal issues. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)
Dissent (Brennan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 200,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.