Incompetency of Attorney Counsel Not Enough to Require Reversal(s)???

A 1993 issue of The American Lawyer included the following collection of excerpts from rulings on appeals by clients on the grounds of “ineffective assistance” by their legal counsel.

NOT INCOMPETENT ENOUGH TO REQUIRE REVERSAL:

“Although defense counsel slept during portions of the trial, counsel provided defendant meaningful representation.”
“Proof of a defense counsel’s use of narcotics during trial does not amount to a per se violation of constitutional right to effective counsel.”

“Murder defendant was not deprived of effective assistance of counsel, though counsel was alcoholic.”

“Counsel’s … seeming indifference to defendant’s attire . . . through defendant was wearing same sweatshirt and footwear in court that he wore on the day of crime, did not constitute ineffective assistance.”

INCOMPETENT ENOUGH TO REQUIRE REVERSAL:

“Defense counsel’s closing argument that . . . admitted client’s guilt without client’s consent and argued . . . that permissive society in general, and television and rock music in particular, produced nihilistic attitudes in young people so that society should be held responsible for defendant’s conduct, constituted prejudicial ineffective assistance of counsel.”
“Counsel was himself under indictment on unrelated cocaine charges and repeatedly informed prospective jurors of that fact during voir dire.”

“Suggesting that if defendant had testified, he would have lied . . . constituted ineffective assistance of counsel.”

“[It was ineffective assistance when defense counsel failed] to challenge any prospective juror, either preemptory or for cause, with result that nine of twelve jurors had friends or relatives on various police force.”

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