Duties of Trial Counsel At And After Sentencing

As we all know, the duties of trial counsel are not complete when the judge sentences your client. A significant number of complaints to the Office of Lawyer Regulation include complaints that trial counsel did not follow through on post-sentencing responsibilities. The following checklist should help the practitioner to make sure all their duties have been fulfilled and to avoid OLR grievances.

[  ]        Calculate and request sentence credit owed to your client. See Wis. Stat. § 973.155.

(This should ordinarily be done at sentencing, but may be done by motion after sentencing if necessary.)

 Sample – Motion for Sentence Credit

[  ]        Resolve any dispute regarding restitution. See Wis. Stat. § 973.20.

[  ]        Advise your client of his/her right to appeal. See Wis. Stat. § 973.18(3).

[  ]        If your client has indicated a desire to appeal, file the Notice of Intent to Pursue Postconviction Relief within 20 days of sentencing, and forward               the Notice and a completed Trial Attorney Questionnaire to SPD Appellate Intake. See Wis. Stat. § 809.30(2)(b).

Form – Notice of Intent to Pursue Postconviction Relief

Form – Trial Attorney Questionnaire

[  ]        If client asks you to file a Notice of Intent after the 20 days have passed, consider whether to assist him/her in filing a late notice, along with a                   motion to extend the time for filing the notice.

(Ordinarily, the attorney assists the client if the delay is, in part, the attorney’s fault, or if the deadline only recently passed. If it would not be appropriate to assist your client, you may direct him/her to contact the Appellate Division for pro se forms and instructions.)

Sample – Motion to Extend Time for filing a Notice of Intent to Pursue Postconviction Relief

[  ]       If there is a good faith basis for filing a motion for release (or motion for other relief) pending appeal, litigate such a motion in the trial court. See                Wis. Stats. §§ 809.31, 969.01(2), 969.08 and 969.09.

Sample – Motion for Release Pending Appeal