Vermont v. Brillon
United States Supreme Court
556 U.S. 81 (2009)
On July 27, 2001, Michael Brillon (defendant) was arrested and later charged with felony domestic assault. The court assigned Richard Ammons, a public defender, as Brillon’s attorney. Ammons filed several motions for continuances that were ultimately denied. Brillon fired Ammons on February 22, 2002, and the trial court granted Ammons’ motion to withdraw. That same day, the trial judge appointed a second attorney, who withdrew immediately due to a conflict. On March 1, 2002, the court assigned Gerard Altieri as Brillon’s third attorney. Brillon moved to dismiss Altieri based on his lack of communication. Altieri also sought to withdraw as counsel on grounds that Brillon had threatened his life. The trial court granted Brillon’s motion but warned him that the grant of the motion would only extend his time in jail while waiting for trial. The trial court appointed Paul Donaldson as Brillon’s fourth attorney on the same day. Donaldson moved for additional time due to his caseload. Brillon sought to remove Donaldson for his lack of responsiveness. On November 26, 2002, Donaldson was released from the case because his contract with the Defender General’s office expired. Brillon’s fifth counsel, David Sleigh, was assigned on January 15, 2003. Sleigh requested several extensions due to his caseload. On April 10, 2003, Sleigh withdrew as counsel due to changes in his contract with the Defender General. Brillon was without counsel for the ensuing four months. Kathleen Moore was appointed as Brillon’s sixth counsel on August 1, 2003. The trial court granted both parties several extensions. On February 23, 2004, Moore sought dismissal of the case for lack of a speedy trial. The trial court denied the motion. After trial on June 14, 2004, Brillon was convicted and sentenced to 12 to 20 years in prison. Brillon sought a post-trial dismissal for lack of a speedy trial. The trial court denied the motion, finding that the delay was mostly Brillon’s fault and that Brillon failed to demonstrate prejudice resulting from the delay. The Vermont Supreme Court vacated Brillon’s conviction, finding that his right to a speedy trial had been denied.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, 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 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.