Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants.
Argument: The violations alleged by the plaintiffs cause ongoing and cognizable harm. The district court applied the wrong legal framework to the plaintiffs' claims. A criminal defendant has a fundamental right to counsel at any "critical stage" of the proceedings against him. The Sixth Amendment can also be violated if the attorney's performance fails to meet constitutional standards. Federal and state courts addressing claims for prospective relief, like the plaintiffs' claims here, have rejected application of the Strickland standard.