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Capital Defense Counsel’s Independent Duty to Inspect and Ensure That The Official Record of The Case Is Complete
By Rose Jade
Counsel at every stage have an obligation to satisfy themselves independently that the official record of the proceedings is complete and to supplement it as appropriate.
ABA Guideline 10.7(B)(2)
Subsection B(2) is … new and describes counsel’s ongoing obligation to ensure that the official record of proceedings is complete.
Commentary, ABA Guideline 10.7(B)(2)
According to Guideline 10.7(B)(2) of the American Bar Association’s Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases,1 each and every defense attorney representing a death penalty client has a plain duty to personally make sure that the official record of the proceeding is complete. This duty cannot be delegated; by the plain text of the Guideline, it is a duty imposed directly and personally on anyone acting as counsel.
As a consequence of Guideline 10.7(B)(2), capital defenders are now required to (1) learn and understand the court’s case file management system, (2) have an ongoing, correct,
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