Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


editor's note: The article that follows is a condensation of a section of Criminal Procedure, a hornbook co-authored by Professor Israel and Wayne R. Lafave, and published by West Publishing Co. in 1985. That hornbook, in turn, is a condensation of the authors' three-volume treatise by the same title.

Prior to Faretta, a long line of cases had held that defense counsel had the authority to make various defense decisions on his own initiative. These decisions, commonly characterized as relating to matters of "strategy" or "tactics," were said to be within the "exclusive province" of the lawyer. Counsel had no obligation to consult with the defendant, and if he did consult, had no obligation to follow the defendant's wishes. Other defense decisions, however, were said to rest in the ultimate authority of the defendant. As to those decisions, commonly said to require the "personal choice" of the defendant, counsel had to advise the client and abide by his directions.