- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
- Date Filed: 05-17-2017
- Case #: A156638
- Judge(s)/Court Below: DeHoog, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
Petitioner appealed the post-conviction court’s denial of his request for relief. Petitioner assigned error to his trial attorney’s inadequate counsel. On appeal, Petitioner argued that, unilateral actions made by the judge to compensate for Petitioners trial counsel’s mistakes throughout the trial Petitioner claimed that these “unilateral actions” disproportionately favored the prosecution and, therefore, conveyed to the jury the impression of judicial bias, that conduct deprived him of a fair trial. Petitioner argued specifically, that as a result of his attorney’s failure to move for a mistrial and his attorney’s failure to response to the court’s persistent and critically timed interruptions, Petitioner’s lawyer constituted inadequate assistance of counsel at his trial. Under Article I, section 11, of the Oregon Constitution “[e]xcessive intervention by a trial judge substantially diminishes the effectiveness of the adversary system and may deprive a litigant of [the] right to an impartially administered trial.” State v. Mains, 295 Or 640, 664, 669 P2d 1112 (1983). The Court of Appeals held that “by not taking corrective action in response to the trial court’s frequent, unilateral, and critical interruptions, trial counsel failed to exercise reasonable professional skill and judgment, and that failure prejudiced petitioner.” Reversed and remanded.