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Can A Lawyer Plead A Client "Guilty" When the Client Insists He is "Not Guilty"?

Posted by Tim Zerillo | Jan 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

There is an interesting case accepted for argument in the Supreme Court this month. In McCoy v. Lousiana, Robert McCoy was tried of three counts of first-degree murder for the 2008 shooting deaths of Christine and Willie Young in Louisiana. Although McCoy steadfastly said he was innocent, his lawyer conceded McCoy's guilt in an unsuccessful attempt to spare his life from the death penalty.  Now, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on whether the lawyer's decision was a reasonable way to try to save his client's life or  a violation of McCoy's constitutional rights, entitling him to new trial.

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Tim Zerillo is a Maine lawyer, speaker and legal writer who practices in State and Federal Courts in Maine, in the First Circuit Court of Appeals and in the Supreme Court of the United States.  You can email Tim Zerillo at [email protected]

About the Author

Tim Zerillo

Tim Zerillo is a Maine civil and criminal trial attorney. He been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100” attorneys. He has been elected to “New England Super Lawyers” every year since 2010. Attorney Zerillo's practice focuses primarily on criminal defense and civil litigation for plaintiffs and victims. Attorney Zerillo's career has reflected a strong commitment to represent the injured and the accused.


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Timothy E. Zerillo Clients’ Choice Award 2017
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The National Trial Lawyers