United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Habeas Corpus — conflict of interest
Where the defendant and his brother were represented by the same attorney, the state court unreasonably held there was no conflict of interest.
“We conclude that the state court unreasonably applied Sullivan in holding that Taylor’s interest in presenting exculpatory witnesses did not conflict with his brother’s interest in preventing their inculpatory testimony from being admitted at his trial. Furthermore, the Illinois Supreme Court unreasonably determined that the trial court’s bare rejection of Taylor’s claim must have constituted an implicit credibility finding in Taylor’s attorney’s favor on the question of whether the conflict of interest actually influenced his decision to refrain from calling Taylor’s witnesses. Because we have no factual findings to defer to on the question of whether the conflict of interest adversely affected Taylor’s attorney’s performance and the evidence in the record is ambiguous, we must remand the matter to the district court for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the conflict of interest between Taylor and Lowell adversely affected Taylor’s lawyer’s representation.”
Reversed and Remanded.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Feinerman, J., Williams, J.