On August 12, Michael Teter, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We are seeking a writ to review the Utah Supreme Court decision in State v. Trotter,” Teter said. “The question presented is whether a defendant receives ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when his attorney fails to advise him that the offense to which he is pleading guilty will require him to register as a sex offender. There is a split among states on the question and the need for certainty in this area of the law.”
Several College of Law students worked on the matter, including Jeremy Brodis, Lauren Howell, Victoria Luman, Jeffrey Mathis, and Elise Walker.
Luman said, “My role in preparing the petition was to research a state and federal circuit court split regarding whether the requirement to register as a sex offender is a direct or collateral consequence of a conviction. I also completed a citation check of the petition and was involved in proof reading various drafts. I learned a great deal about filing an appeal with the Supreme Court and legal writing in general. It was an incredible opportunity to be involved in this project and watch the progress Professor Teter made with the petition from beginning to end.”
Brodis added, “My role in preparing the petition was to conduct research and draft a memorandum presenting the merits of our case. I was also involved in researching some related issues that came up in the course of preparing the petition. One interesting thing I learned is that the focus of a cert petition is really about giving the Court good reason to grant the writ. Often that involves detailing why the case presents an opportunity for the Court to resolve a nationwide split in authority, or to address an issue of national scope and concern.”