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2001

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University of Kentucky

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Burdine V. Johnson -- To Sleep, Perchance To Get A New Trial: Presumed Prejudice Arising From Sleeping Counsel, James M. Donovan Dec 2001

Burdine V. Johnson -- To Sleep, Perchance To Get A New Trial: Presumed Prejudice Arising From Sleeping Counsel, James M. Donovan

James M. Donovan

Few images slice as deeply into our self-image as a fair society than that of a defendant on trial for his very life depending upon the services of an attorney who naps throughout the proceedings. Although this scenario is not new, the courts have yet to resolve definitively how they should respond to a defendant burdened with snoozing counsel. This note discusses the outcome of the latest attempt. UPDATE: While a conscious lawyer is presumably a requirement of due process, some jurisdictions make no similar demand that judges remain awake: see http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWCCA ...