Friday, June 14, 2013

US v. Davila, No. 12-167, 2013 WL 2631064 (US June 13, 2013): Mr. Davila didn't want his attorney and asked for a new one. His complaint was that his attorney thought he should plead guilty. At an ex parte hearing with the magistrate judge, the magistrate judge told Mr. Davila that he wouldn't get another lawyer and he should plead guilty. Three months later, he did. The Supreme Court holds that the magistrate indisputably and plainly violated Rule 11 by getting involved in plea negotiations. However, the 11th Circuit erred by ruling that the Rule 11 violation required automatic vacatur of Davila's plea. Rather, it was necessary to consider whether the violation was prejudicial.