Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cert. grant in Holland v. Florida

In August 2008, the Eleventh Circuit (Edmonson, Marcus, Pryor) held that "no allegation of lawyer negligence or of failure to meet a lawyer's standard of care -- in the absence of an allegation and proof of bad faith, dishonesty, divided loyalty, mental impairment, or so forth on the lawyer's part -- can rise to egregious attorney misconduct that would entitle the Petitioner to equitable tolling" under the AEDPA. For equitable tolling, pure professional negligence was not enough; instead, the Court looked for something more -- like affirmative misrepresentations about the filing time (see Downs v. McNeil) to justify equitable tolling.

This isn't the final word: The Supreme Court granted cert. in Holland today. Habeas lawyers, be governed accordingly.

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