People v. Nicholas Sanchez


AD1 order dated April 10, 2012, affirming judgment of conviction. Decision below: 85 A.D.3d 1572, 925 N.Y.S.2d 287. Freedman, J. (AD dissenter), granted leave June 12, 2012.

ISSUES PRESENTED: (1) Whether defendant received the effective assistance of counsel where his trial counsel had also represented another individual with connections to the case. (2) Whether two detectives were improperly allowed to identify the defendant from a surveillance camera photo. (Assigned counsel: Richard M. Greenberg, Office of the Appellate Defender, 11 Park Place, Suite 1601, NYC 10007.)

Issue before the Court: Whether defendant was denied “meaningful representation” because of a conflict of interest where his attorney was employed by Legal Aid, and Legal Aid had also represented another suspect.

Held: Because Legal Aid had not simultaneously represented both defendant Sanchez and the suspect, defendant was required to show that the prior representation caused a conflict of interest that “operated” on the defense, which they had not established.