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25 Law & Psychol. Rev. 81 (2001)
Characteristics of the Ideal Criminal Defense Attorney from the Client's Perspective: Empirical Findings and Implications for Legal Practice

handle is hein.journals/lpsyr25 and id is 85 raw text is: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE IDEAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE
Marcus T. Boccaccini*
Stanley L. Brodsky**
Although all criminal defendants have the right to effective
legal counsel,' identifying the hallmarks of effective legal
counsel is not as straightforward as it may at first appear. Re-
search suggests that clients desire much more than just legal
knowledge from their defense attorney.2 This Article presents
an empirical study which sought to provide information about
clients' perceptions of effective counsel by asking what charac-
teristics experienced criminal defendants want in an ideal
defense attorney, and how having an ideal defense attorney
would impact their behavior in the attorney-client relationship.
Part I of this Article sets forth introductory information
which is necessary to set the context for the study. Part I begins
by detailing a criminal defendant's right to the effective assis-
tance of counsel. Next, research findings pertaining to defense
* Marcus T. Boccaccini is currently a doctoral candidate in clinical psycholo-
gy/psychology-law at The University of Alabama. M.A. 1998, The University of Ala-
bama; B.S. 1995, Santa Clara University.
** Stanley L. Brodsky is currently a Professor of Psychology at the University
of Alabama where he coordinates the Psychology-Law Ph.D. concentration. Ph.D.
1964, University of Florida; M.S. 1962, University of Florida; B.A. 1960, University
of New Hampshire. The authors would like to thank Julie Atwell and Heather
Moore for their assistance in collecting data.
1. See McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 759, 771 n.14 (1970) ([T]he right to
counsel is the right to the effective assistance of counsel.). See also Cuyler v.
Sullivan, 446 U.S. 335, 344-45 (1980); Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 70
(1942); Avery v. Alabama, 307 U.S. 444, 446 (1940); Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45,
57 (1932); Karen A. Covy, The Right to Counsel of One's Choice: Joint Representation
of Criminal Defendants, 58 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 793, 815 n.12 (1983). But see Mor-
ris v. Slappy, 461 U.S. 1, 13-14 (1983) (holding the Sixth Amendment does not guar-
antee a meaningful relationship between an accused and his counsel).
2. See infra notes 24-67 and accompanying text.

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