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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Decide Reach of Decision on Lawyers’ Obligation to Disclose Deportation Risk

Posted Apr 30, 2012 10:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider the retroactivy of its 2010 decision finding that lawyers have a Sixth Amendment obligation to warn their clients when guilty pleas can result in deportation.

The Supreme Court granted cert today, SCOTUSblog reports. At issue is whether the ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky applies to defendants whose convictions became final before the date of the opinion, the blog says.

The petitioner in the case, Roselva Chaidez, is a Mexican immigrant who moved to the United States in the 1970s, according to the cert petition (PDF). She was charged in 2003 with falsely claiming to be a passenger in a car involved in an auto accident as part of an insurance fraud scheme. Though she received $1,200 for her role, the insurance company paid $26,000 settling claims related to the claimed accident. Chaidez pleaded guilty to fraud involving more than $10,000, making her subject to deportation.

According to the cert petition, “federal and state courts are openly and intractably divided” over whether the Padilla holding applies retroactively.

Prior coverage:

ABA Journal: "Task Force Probes Defense Lawyers’ Role After Padilla"

ABAJournal.com: "Supreme Court Says Lawyers Must Inform Clients of Deportation Risks"

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