Immigration Law

NY Appeals Court: Top US Court's Padilla Ruling Applies re '96 Plea Now Blamed on Counsel's Advice

Sixteen years after Roman Baret’s guilty plea in 1996 to criminal sale of a controlled substance, a New York appeals court has held that the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky applies retroactively. It requires defense lawyers to advise clients of any adverse immigration consequences of a guilty plea in a criminal case.

The Tuesday ruling by the Appellate Division, First Department, means Baret, who had faced deportation following his guilty plea, will get a trial court hearing. He is claims ineffective assistance of counsel due to his lawyer allegedly failing to tell him of the deportation issue raised by his guilty plea, Reuters reports.

Attorney Labe Richman represented Baret on appeal. He said the First Department’s decision concerning his client’s case, appears to be the first for that court, although the Second Department and Third Department reached the same conclusion in prior rulings.

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari to consider the same question in Chaidez v. United States.

Related coverage: “Supreme Court Says Lawyers Must Inform Clients of Deportation Risks” “ABA Backs Free Immigration Counsel for Indigent Defendants” “Chemerinsky: Effective Assistance of Counsel Now a Right in Plea Bargaining”

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