July 20, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant’s Right to Counsel of Choice Outweighs Right to Conflict-Free Representation

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re People v. Nozolino on Monday, March 25, 2013.

Disqualification—Waiver of Right to Conflict—Free Counsel.

The Supreme Court held that the trial court abused its discretion when it disqualified defendant’s counsel of choice, Rosalie Roy and Kimberly Chalmers, from representing him in this case. The Court analyzed the factors critical to the determination of whether defendant must be allowed to waive conflict-free representation, and found that the balance weighed in favor of defendant’s preference for continued representation by Roy and Chalmers. Accordingly, the Court made the rule absolute and remanded the case for an advisement on the record so that defendant may decide whether to waive conflict-free representation.

Summary and full case available here.

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