US Supreme Court Will Decide Whether an Attorney Can Concede a Client’s Guilt Over the Client’s Express Objection.

The case is McCoy v. Louisiana.

In 2004, and in connection with the 6th Amendment, the United Supreme Court held, in Florida v. Nixon, that it is not necessarily ineffective counsel for a lawyer to concede guilt when a client is informed of the litigation strategy and “neither consents or objects.” Nixon is distinguishable from McCoy, however, because Mr. McCoy (the defendant) objected to pleading guilty. Mr. McCoy, charged with first-degree murder of his estranged wife’s child, mother, and step-father, had consistently claimed his innocence. At trial and over Mr. McCoy’s interruptions, defense counsel conceded his client’s guilt in the hopes of sparing him the death penalty. Mr. McCoy was convicted and sentenced to death. The Louisiana Supreme Court denied Mr. McCoy’s appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel and held that “admitting guilt in an attempt to avoid the imposition of the death penalty appears to constitute reasonable trial strategy.”

The Supreme Court will now consider whether it is unconstitutional for defense counsel to concede an accused’s guilt over the accused’s express objection. The decision is expected in 2018.

Limited Scope Representation in Maryland


In recent years, a growing number of clients have sought “alternative fee arrangements” in lieu of the traditional billable hour when they require the services of an attorney.

In Maryland, approximately 70% of family law litigants are pro se or self-represented with most either unable or unwilling to pay for full legal representation. Full legal representation involves hiring an attorney for representation for all aspects of a case. Usually, in full legal representation, the attorney requests that the client provide an upfront retainer to begin representation and will draw off the retainer as work is performed in a case.

Limited scope representation, or “unbundling” is an alternative to full legal representation. Unbundling legal services allows for clients to tailor the legal representation to their needs, and is often a more affordable option to the client. A review of each case would determine whether “unbundled” legal representation is appropriate. Limiting an attorney’s services does not mean that a client receives a reduction in quality, just a limit on the services a lawyer may provide.

Examples of limited scope representation could include the following:

  • assisting a client in preparing documents for filing, including editing and reviewing documents prior to the client filing documents, serving parties and preparing for litigation;
  • assisting a client by drafting pleadings, motions, and other documents for the court;
  • providing client coaching in preparing for trial including organizing a trial binder to know appropriate questions to ask and how to present evidence in court; or
  • entering a limited appearance at a hearing or trial on behalf of the client, and representing the client for a hearing on a specific issue.

Our Maryland unbundled attorney, offers both full legal representation and limited scope representation to individuals seeking divorce, guardianship, custody, visitation and support. Contact us today, (410) 415-9333, to set an appointment to discuss how we can be of assistance.

Source: Maryland State Bar Association


Ray Anthony Lewis, III, the son of Ray Lewis Jr., former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and one of the greatest linebackers of all time, has been charged with third degree criminal sexual conduct in South Carolina for allegedly “sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman while knowing she was under the influence,” and “when the defendant knew or had reason to know that the victim was mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.”  Lewis III, a cornerback at Coastal Carolina University, has been placed on “indefinite suspension” by his team.  He currently is released on a $10,000.00 bond.

Virginia, like South Carolina, criminalizes “sexual intercourse with a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse . . . through the use of the complaining witness’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness”, and punishes such behavior as forcible rape.  “Physical helplessness” has been held to include incapacitation due to voluntary intoxication.  The punishment upon a determination of guilt is five years to a life term subject to certain conditions.  Moreover, in these alcohol-facilitated sexual assault cases, there is a presumption against bond.  Accordingly, a person accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is physically helpless as a result of incapacitation due to alcohol or other substance may have to remain in jail pending adjudication of the charge.  See  Va. Code § 18.2-61.

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Title IX of the Equal Protection Clause provides: ““[n]o person . . . shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The Department of Education’s (DOE) implementing regulations permit the provision of “separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex, but such facilities provided for students of one sex shall be comparable to such facilities for students of the other sex.”

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Temporary Disability Payments (TDAP) in Maryland

After you apply for Social Security Disability benefits in Maryland you begin a waiting period. It can take between 3-5 months to get an initial decision on your application, or reconsideration of your initial decision back from the Social Security Administration. It can sometimes take over 20 months to set a hearing date before an administrative law judge.If you have already stopped working

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How to Apply for Disability Benefits?

Once you have determined that you are eligible for social security disability benefits, you may be thinking, “How Do I Apply for Disability Benefits?” While our lawyers are able to assist in filling out the application, you may decide that you want to fill out and file the application on your own.

If you do not have access to the internet, you have two options.

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Former Maryland judge who pleaded guilty will learn his fate today

Former Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Nalley pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation for ordering a defendant in his courtroom to be electro-shocked to shut him up. At the time the defendant was acting as his own attorney, and was wearing a “Stun-Cuff”. The judge ordered the county deputy sheriff to activate the Stun-Cuff attached to the defendant’s ankle.

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