ALL HANDS ON DECK – En Banc Decision in In re J.A.B.

Today, the 4th Court issued an en banc decision in a family law case. The majority decided the case en banc to overrule a prior decision on the issue of whether, under Strickland v. Washington, a parent who has the right to effective assistance of counsel in a parental termination proceeding must show prejudice resulting from ineffective assistance when counsel is not present for the presentation of the opposing party’s case. Overruling D.R.R., the majority held that the answer is no, because prejudice in such cases is presumed.

The dissent-concurrence agreed with the ultimate outcome of the case, but disagreed with the decision to overrule D.R.R., arguing there was no conflict between this case and D.R.R.

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