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Criminal Procedure

Right to Effective Counsel

Right to Effective Counsel

Understand the contours of a defendant's right to effective assistance of counsel, what the defendant must prove to make out a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, and the different scenarios in which a lawyer's defective performance will be considered to have prejudiced the defendant.


As we have learned in prior clips, the Constitution grants the criminal defendant the right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense, in connection with a criminal prosecution against him. However, that statement does not address one very important question: what exactly is the defendant entitled to have counsel do for him? In other words, at what level must counsel perform in order to satisfy the defendant’s constitutional right to counsel? That is the question we’ll attempt to...