AREAS OF PRACTICE
State Post-Conction-Relief Petitions and their appeals,
Federal Habeas Corpus Petitions (from a state court conviction) and Motions to Set Aside a Conviction (from a federal court conviction).
1. State Post-Conviction-Relief (PCR) Petitions:
This Petition is filed after all State 'Direct Appeals' have been denied. (A Direct Appeal is limited to ('On' the record) errors: Errors raised during the trial stage of the case. (Errors are set out as Issues in the Petition). A PCR is based on ('Off' the record) errors: Errors not raised in the Direct Appeal, and errors discovered in the re-examination and re-investigation of the case. They include new evidence of innocence, and evidence that discredits the prosecution's case. They also include errors based on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel; Prosecutorial misconduct; Police misconduct; Witness misconduct, and; Judicial misconduct. Issues reaised in a PCR must inclued violations of Federal Law, so if an appeal to the Federal court is necessay, it can proceed.
2. Federal Habeas Corpus Petition: Is the appeal of a State court conviction to the Federal court. (State court appeals have to be exhausted), before they can be appealed to the Federal court. They raise the same issues raised in the PCR. (New issues cannot be added). They are filed in the Federal District Court. If unsuccessful they can be appealed to the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a Request for Appealability. If the Request is granted, the court will consider and rule on the issues raised in the Petition.
3. Motion to Set Aside a Conviction: Is filed after a 'Direct Appeal' is denied in a Federal District Court conviction. (It is filed in the District Court). If unsuccessful, it can be appealed to the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
4. In either of these appeals, if the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejects the appeal, or renders an unfavorable decision, it can be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.