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United States v. Dinitz

United States Supreme Court
424 U.S. 600 (1976)


Nathan Dinitz (defendant) was tried on drug charges. Dinitz’s new attorney, Maurice Wagner, was admitted pro hac vice. Wagner was warned repeatedly for making improper opening statements. In response, the judge said that the case could be stayed while a higher court considered Wagner’s expulsion, Dinitz could use his old attorney, or a mistrial could be declared. Dinitz moved for a mistrial. The prosecution did not object, and the judge granted the motion. Before retrial, Dinitz moved to dismiss claiming that the Double Jeopardy Clause barred prosecution. The trial court denied the motion. On appeal, the court found that the judge had essentially forced Dinitz to move for a mistrial and proceeded as if the mistrial had been declared over Dinitz’s objections. The appellate court determined there was no manifest necessity for Wagner’s expulsion and the Double Jeopardy Clause barred retrial. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

Concurrence (Burger, C.J.)

Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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