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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

By: Derek Hawkins//October 4, 2018//

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

By: Derek Hawkins//October 4, 2018//

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WI Court of Appeals – District III

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Peter J. Hanson

Case No.: 2016AP2058-CR

Officials: Stark, P.J., Hruz and Seidl, JJ.

Focus: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Peter Hanson appeals a judgment, entered after a jury trial, convicting him of first-degree intentional homicide as a party to the crime. He also appeals an order denying his postconviction motion. Hanson contends that the admission at trial of statements made by his now-deceased wife violated his constitutional right to confrontation. He also argues that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to call any potentially exculpatory witnesses and by failing to challenge the admission of Hanson’s earlier John Doe testimony as being in violation of Miranda.  We conclude that, even assuming Hanson’s right to confrontation was violated, any error was harmless. We further conclude that Hanson’s trial counsel did not perform deficiently by failing to call any witnesses and that Hanson has failed to show he was prejudiced by counsel’s failure to object to his John Doe testimony. Accordingly, we affirm.

Attorney Derek A. Hawkins is the managing partner at Hawkins Law Offices LLC, where he heads up the firm’s startup law practice. He specializes in business formation, corporate governance, intellectual property protection, private equity and venture capital funding and mergers & acquisitions. Check out the website at or contact them at 262-737-8825.


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