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State v. Dixon

Supreme Court of Nebraska

June 28, 2013

State of Nebraska, appellee,
v.
Michale M. Dixon, appellant.

1. Constitutional Law: Criminal Law: Right to Counsel The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the assistance of counsel for his or her defense.

[286 Neb. 158] 2. ___: ___: ___. An indigent criminal defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not include the right to counsel of the indigent defendant's own choice.

3. Rules of the Supreme Court: Right to Counsel. Neb. Ct. R. of Prof. Cond. § 3-501.2(d) (rev. 2008) provides that a limited appearance may be entered by a lawyer only when a person is not represented.

4. Right to Counsel: Waiver: Effectiveness of Counsel Counsel appointed to an indigent defendant must remain with the defendant unless one of three conditions is met: (1) The accused knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waives the right to counsel and chooses to proceed pro se; (2) appointed counsel is incompetent, in which case new counsel is to be appointed; or (3) the accused chooses to retain private counsel.

5. Criminal Law: Courts: Right to Counsel: Time. A district court has discretion in determining the amount of time to allow a criminal defendant to attempt to retain private counsel.

6. Criminal Law: Right to Counsel: Time. Where a criminal defendant is financially able to hire an attorney, he or she may not use his or her neglect in hiring one as a reason for delay.

7. Effectiveness of Counsel: Proof. In order to establish whether a defendant was denied effective assistance of counsel, the defendant must first demonstrate that counsel was deficient; that is, counsel did not perform at least as well as a criminal lawyer with ordinary training and skill in the area. Second, the defendant must show that he or she was prejudiced by the actions or inactions of his or her counsel; that is, the defendant must demonstrate with reasonable probability that but for counsel's deficient performance, the result of the proceeding would have been different.

8. Appeal and Error. A party cannot complain of error which he or she has invited the court to commit.

Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: Karen B. Flowers, Judge.

Steffanie J. Garner Kotik, of Kotik & McClure Law, for appellant.

Jon Bruning, Attorney General, and Kimberly A. Klein for appellee.

Heavican, C.J., Wright, Connolly, Stephan, Miller-Lerman, and Cassel, JJ.

Heavican, C.J.


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