From our private database of 30,900+ case briefs...
Williams v. State of Delaware
Delaware Supreme Court
805 A.2d 880 (Del. Sup.Ct. 2002)
Attorney Bernard J. O’Donnell had two clients facing the death penalty. In one case, the trial court imposed the death penalty against O’Donnell’s client despite the jury’s 2-10 vote rejecting it. O’Donnell appealed, arguing the trial court erred in failing to give the jury’s vote “great weight.” In the second case, against Joseph Williams (defendant) for first-degree murder, the jury voted exactly the opposite: 10-2 in favor of the death penalty. O’Donnell moved to withdraw and asked the court to appoint substitute counsel. O’Donnell asserted that Williams could raise an argument on appeal that the trial court erroneously concluded it was required to give “great weight” to the jury’s 10-2 vote recommending the death penalty—a position directly contradictory to O’Donnell’s other death-penalty appeal. O’Donnell urged that representing both clients could create unfavorable precedent for either one client or the other, as well as undermine O’Donnell’s credibility and his clients’ perception of his loyalty. The prosecution agreed that conflict of interest disqualified O’Donnell from representing Williams on appeal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holland, 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 551,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 551,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 30,900 briefs, keyed to 984 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.