Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Judge Seitz case goes to Supreme Court

Yesterday the Supreme Court granted cert in Holland v. Florida, which presents the following question:

Whether the Eleventh Circuit erred in denying equitable tolling to the defendant to excuse his late filing of his habeas petition, based on the conclusion that the late filing was due to “gross negligence” of counsel, while factors beyond “gross negligence” are required for equitable tolling; whether equitable tolling is available to toll the statute of limitation under the AEDPA.

Here's the 11th Circuit opinion. And here's Todd Scher's cert petition. Congrats to Scher for this amazing opportunity. He was appointed CJA and continued to fight for his client, filing a cert petition after the losing before Judge Seitz and the 11th. Getting cert on a habeas case from the indigent docket is almost impossible, so well done!


Anonymous said...

I can't believe we live in a country where this is even an issue. The Court assumed that the lawyer's conduct was grossly negligent but that did not provide equitable tolling for a filing that was 38 days late. The man has been sentenced to death! This is a disgrace.

Holland is the Lilly Ledbetter of habeas.

South Florida Lawyers said...

I just read the 11th Circuit opinion -- basically the lawyer has to affirmatively lie to her client before the lawyer's negligence will rise the the level of equitable tolling.

I have a bad strict constructionist feeling about this one.

Anonymous said...