posted 2021 | State v. DC (Osceola County)
This is another example of why choosing the right post-conviction lawyer makes a difference. Mr. Forman was hired by the client after the client was convicted of Grand Theft. The client hired a well-known appeals lawyer in Central Florida, but the appeal was denied. Surprising, the other appellate lawyer missed a critical issue that would have resulted in reversal.
Mr. Forman was hired to handle the post-conviction motion because the client wanted a post-conviction lawyer who was not from Central Florida. After reviewing the trial transcripts and the file, Mr. Forman noticed that the trial lawyer failed to request an available common law defense, but not yet listed in the jury instructions – the good faith defense. Mr. Forman knew the law pertaining to this defense because he had previously won an appeal based on the failure to seek this jury instruction.
Mr. Forman filed a motion for post-conviction relief alleging numerous grounds of ineffective counsel. The trial court granted an evidentiary hearing where witnesses could be presented in order to prove his client’s claims. At the evidentiary hearing, trial counsel explained why he failed to request the critical good faith jury instruction. Mr. Forman told the client his testimony was not necessary because he believed he would win the motion based on the caselaw provided. After hearing arguments, the court indicated it would render an order.
Mr. Forman was correct. Several weeks later, the trial court granted the client’s motion for post-conviction relief, vacated his conviction, and awarded a new trial! The client was obviously thrilled with the outcome.