Jeremy Roebuck, a reporter for the Monitor newspaper, wrote an article in Friday’s edition of the paper describing a Padilla claim won by attorney Carlos Moctezuma García as an “exception.” Jeremy Roebuck, Attorneys: Landmark Immigration Ruling Has Caused Only Ripples in Valley, The Monitor (McAllen, Texas), Sept. 24, 2010. According to Roebuck, most claims brought under the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky, in which the Court held that defense attorneys must affirmatively and accurately advise their non-citizen clients of the risk of deportation stemming from pleading guilty, have been denied outright.
García’s argument, then, which I wrote about in August, represents a highly informative guide for attorneys contemplating a Padilla claim. García rooted his argument in the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. He successfully argued that his client’s criminal defense attorney’s failure to inform the criminal defendant that a guilty plea would result in his deportation did not satisfy the objective standard of reasonableness required by the Sixth Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). García then successfully argued that his client’s failure to meet this objective standard of reasonableness prejudiced the criminal defendant insofar as he would have elected to contest the charges against him by going to trial had he known that entering a guilty plea would necessarily result in his deportation.
Roebuck’s article is a great read to understand courts’ early treatment of Padilla claims.