Thursday, January 22, 2015


As you may recall, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals gave Richard Chichakli until the 20th iof January to have his counsel file an Appearance, or risk a dismissal of his appeal. The appellant has now filed a Pro Se Notice of Appearance and Certification, but the way he is conducting his own appeal continues to confuse the Court, and the rest of us.

After his conviction, he discharged his court-appointed counsel, who was assisting only on a stand-by basis, as he had elected to defend himself Pro Se, but the Court still ordered his attorney kept on as stand-by. All his post-trial motions were denied, and he filed a Notice of Appeal.

Now he has informed his stand-by counsel, Mitchell Dinnerstein, that he wishes to retain him solely for the purposes of navigating the perils of appellate filings, and not as counsel bringing the appeal. Under those murky circumstances, counsel has filed a motion to withdraw. This leaves Chichakli Pro Se, without any designated counsel.

Next, Chichakli has asked the Court to appoint him counsel for the appeal. Remember, he previously complained about his first stand-by counsel's alleged shortcomings, but that lawyer was only performing a limited role regarding procedural issues, and not as defense attorney. If Chichakli wants to file his own appellate briefs, and conduct the case himself, he cannot later complain that his stand-by counsel is not performing as attorney of record; he cannot have it both ways.

Let us now see what the Second Circuit does; will it appoint counsel, only for the attorney to find that his client is preparing all the filings Pro Se ? If you think you are confused, imagine how the judge's law clerk's must feel.

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