So you’re stuck with a client that is That Guy. You know the one. He fired not one, not two, but THREE court-ordered attorneys. Then he decided to represent himself at trial, but wasn’t adequately informed by the judge as to how badly he would likely — and did — fuck up his trial. So the conviction gets tossed.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled this week that the judge who handled 63-year-old Anthony Lewis McCrory’s case should have warned him about the risks and pitfalls of representing himself at trial. Because she didn’t, his conviction has been overturned.
“However, it is with great reluctance that we arrive at this conclusion. It appears quite likely that this was a situation where defendant was more than content to forgo the assistance of counsel and steer the ship himself. We are also aware that our decision affords a defendant who appeared to want to represent himself a new trial specifically because he was allowed to represent himself. If this appears baffling, it is because it should. Had the trial court taken the time to make a record and engage defendant in even a brief colloquy, the result in this case might very well be different,” the opinion reads.
Now it’s new trial time, so you’re the fourth appointed attorney on this case, and you’re probably wishing you could be anywhere else. And guess what? Your client doesn’t want you around either, because he says he literally thinks you are the devil.
At a Monday hearing, Circuit Judge Cynthia Lane denied a motion from Anthony McCrory’s lawyer to withdraw.
Frederick Lepley, McCrory’s lawyer, said his client didn’t want him as a lawyer and, in a written motion, said McCrory believed Lepley to be Satan.
“He indicated that he did not want me to proceed as his attorney,” Lepley said Monday.
Man, isn’t there something in the rules of professional conduct that allow you to withdraw if your client believes you are the Dark Lord? That’s going to be one long contentious trial, what with the client calling poor Frederick Lepley Beelzebub or Baphomet or Lucifer every few minutes. Good luck and godspeed.
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