Friday, August 3, 2007
Case Law Development: New Jersey Determines Standards for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in TPR Cases
The Supreme Court of New Jersey resolved a number of issues regarding ineffective assistance of counsel in cases involving termination of parental rights. In an opinion that provides a thorough survey of various state approaches to the issues presented, the court held that:
- the right to effective assistance of counsel in New Jersey is both statutory and constitutional
- the standard for reviewing effective assistance of counsel should be the Strickland standard rather than the "fundamentally fair" standard used by some states.
- the procedure for post trial examination of ineffective assistance claims should be by direct appeal rather than in post trial motions in the trial court.
In the Matter of Guardianship of AW and AR, 2007 NJ LEXIS 908 (NJ Sup. Ct. July 25, 2007)
Opinion online (last visited August 2, 2007 bgf)