AREAS OF PRACTICE
State and Federal criminal cases at the trial level and in Direct appeals. State and Federal Post-Conviction Relief appeals, and in their appeal to a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
State Post-Conviction Relief (PCR) Petitions. In Arizona they are Rule 32 & Rule 33 Motions. Rule 32 applies to trial convictions and Rule 33 applies to plea convictions.
Normally a PCR 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 phase of a case. Errors in a PCR are 'Off' the record errors, errors that cannot be raised in a Direct appeal, and are discovered in a re-examination and re-investigation of the case. They are based on 'Newly discovered evidence' of innocence, and evidence that undermines or discredits the State's case. They include Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Prosecutorial misconduct, Police misconduct, Witness misconduct, Judicial misconduct, and Jury misconduct.
A PCR is based on 'Reversible errors' that are violations of State and Federal Constitutional law. All violations must be presented as 'Issues' in the initial PCR petition. A PCR cannot raise new Issues in their appeal, except with permission of the court, which is seldom granted. New Issues can be raised in a 'Sucessive' or second PCR, however, a Successive PCR is restricted in the Issues that can be raised. A PCR must be 'federalized' for possible appeal to the Federal court, it must raise, argue, and cite all Federal Constitution Law violations, as Issues. A PCR must be 'exhausted', which means all State Direct and PCR appeals must be denied before a Federal court will consider them.
Federal Habeas Corpus Petitions are Rule 2255 & Rule 2254 Motions.
Rule 2255 applies to Federal court convictions, and Rule 2254 applies to an appeal of a State conviction to the Federal court. In a Direct or PCR appeal of a State court conviction to the Federal court, all Issues raised in the Federal appeal must have been raised as Issues in State court before a Federal court will consider them. All State court appeals to the Federal court have to be exhausted', which means denied, before a Federal court will consider them. A State appeal to the Federal court has to be 'federalized', which means all relevant Federal law has to have been applied to the Issue in the State court appeal, before the Federal court to consider the Issue. 'New' Issues cannot be added when a State Direct appeal or PCR is appealed to the Federal court.