Clark v. Oregon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 12-10-2014
  • Case #: A152469
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; DeVore, J; & Ortega, P.J.

A petitioner for post-conviction relief must prove prejudice either under Cuyler v. Sullivan, or Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7(a)(2) to prove ineffective assistance of counsel.

Petitioner appealed the post-conviction court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Petitioner was indicted for third-degree rape, and petitioner and his trial counsel submitted a plea petition for a reduced prison term, and dropping other charges. At the sentencing hearing, petitioner told the court that he wanted to withdraw his plea, and that the details of the plea were not explained to him by his counsel. The trial court denied petitioner’s request, and sentenced petitioner consistent with the plea agreement. Petitioner petitioned for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court held that trial counsel was not prejudiced, and that even if trial counsel had requested postponement as petitioner requested, there is no evidence that the trial court would have granted the request. Petitioner appealed, and the Court of Appeals reviewed the post-conviction proceeds for errors of law, and the constitutional issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. The Court held that because ineffective assistance of counsel requires petitioner to prove prejudice, and petitioner could neither prove prejudice under Cuyler v. Sullivan, nor under Oregon’s Rules of Professional Conduct, that the post-conviction court did not err. Affirmed.

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