The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the motion of Mitchell Dinnerstein, who served as standby counsel, post-trial, for Richard Chichakli, to withdraw from the appeal. The Court has given the appellant thirty days to either advise that he shall proceed Pro Se, retain counsel, or to request that counsel be appointed, due to his inability to compensate counsel.
The Court did have an additional point to impress upon the appellant; the Order additionally stated:
"The Court will not entertain any request by Appellant for appointment of "standby counsel," as standby counsel is not customarily granted in the Court of Appeals, and Appellant has shown no special need for such assistance." Order entered January 26, 2015.
Chichakli indicated, in his Pro Se post-trial motions, that his original standby counsel failed to properly assist him in his defense, though standby counsel, appointed by the trial judge when a non-attorney represents himself, traditionally has a very limited role, generally relegated to procedural, and not substantive, matters. Chichakli alleged that he did not receive the assistance that he required, and that is likely to be one of his points on appeal. The Court of Appeals, having now dismissed his second standby attorney, has indicated that it will not be appointing a successor, in that limited capacity. Chichakli will either represent himself, or have an attorney handle his appeal, no standby counsel permitted.