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United States v. Long

857 F.2d 436 (1988)

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United States v. Long

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

857 F.2d 436 (1988)

Facts

The government (plaintiff) charged Thaddeus Long and Edward Jackson (defendants) with check-forging and bank fraud. Attorney Paul Engh represented Jackson. During trial, Engh said Jackson wanted to testify but had concerns about it and that Engh had advised Jackson not to testify. After the judge cleared the courtroom, Engh said, “I’m not sure if it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to move for a withdrawal from this case based upon what I think may be elicited on the stand.” The judge said Jackson had a right to testify and that Engh was bound by his professional obligation not to present evidence he believed untrue, both of which Jackson said he understood. The judge explained Jackson could take the stand and give a narrative without Engh questioning him, but if Engh “found things which he believes to be not true . . . he may have other obligations at that point.” Jackson again said he understood his rights and Engh’s obligations but chose not to testify. Jackson and Long were convicted and appealed on multiple grounds, including that Engh provided ineffective assistance of counsel by abandoning his role as Jackson’s advocate and keeping him from testifying.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Heaney, J.)

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