Appellate Practice

Lawyer not ‘Client’s Puppet,’ Court Says

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A federal appeals court has ruled a lawyer need not file an appeal that was waived by his client in a voluntary plea bargain, despite rulings to the contrary by six other circuits.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said lawyers in such cases have a duty to the courts to avoid frivolous litigation and to clients to preserve the benefits of plea bargains, the National Law Journal reports.

“We confess to some doubt about the constitutional reasoning of the circuits that have located in the Sixth Amendment a rule that a lawyer is the client’s puppet,” Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote in the panel ruling for the Chicago-based court.

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