posted 2015 | J.C. v. State
Client was arrested and charged with stealing $250,000 in a joint business venture. He was represented by a known criminal defense attorney, but was convicted at trial. The client was referred to Mr. Forman in order to handle the appeal. Mr. Forman spoke to the trial lawyer, who informed Mr. Forman of the possible issues on appeal.
After carefully reviewing the record on appeal, Mr. Forman noticed a huge error which was undetected by the judge, prosecutor and defense counsel. Mr. Forman noticed that defense counsel never requested to have the jury instructed with a good faith jury instruction which was counsel’s theory of defense. Mr. Forman argued on appeal that defense counsel was ineffective on the face of the record – an argument that is rarely granted.
However, the Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed with Mr. Forman and vacated the conviction and sentence! The appellate court found that trial counsel should have requested the jury instruction since it was based upon his defense at trial. Client was thrilled – the State was not!