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2001

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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

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Burdine V. Johnson - To Sleep, Perchance To Get A New Trial, James Donovan Jan 2001

Burdine V. Johnson - To Sleep, Perchance To Get A New Trial, James Donovan

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Originating in Texas, this case of the sleeping lawyer captured the public imagination at a time when Texas's prolific execution schedule was becoming an issue in the 2000 Presidential election.' Late in the appeals process Burdine argued that because his court-appointed counsel slept during portions of the trial his right to counsel had been denied. A panel of the Fifth Circuit that originally rebuffed this argument was overturned by an en banc rehearing. This last opinion intertwined the Javor and Tippins tests, rendering unclear which test the Fifth Circuit has adopted.