Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Devine: No further duty to consult about appeal

In Devine v. U.S., No. 07-11206 (March 20, 2008), the Court held that defense counsel was not ineffective for failing to file a notice of appeal.
The defendant pled guilty. The plea was valid. His plea included an appeal waiver. The waiver provided that the only issue he could appeal was the legality of his sentence. The low-end Guideline range sentence was legal.
The defendant claimed that counsel failed to fully inform him about the advantages and disadvantages of an appeal. The Court assumed arguendo that counsel did not fully discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an appeal, but still found no ineffective assistance of counsel. First, the factual record below showed that the defendant did not reasonably demonstrate to counsel that he was interested in appealing. Second, no rational defendant would want to appeal in these circumstances. Thus, counsel had no duty to consult further with the defendant about an appeal.