United States v. Griffiths, No. 13-2102 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his conviction on one count of making false statements to the Government, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of mail fraud. The court held that there was no per se violation of the Sixth Amendment right to be represented by one's counsel of choice and to effective assistance of counsel when a district court, after defense counsel has become incapacitated, appoints counsel, over defendant's objection, to deliver the defense summation, notwithstanding the fact that appointed counsel did not witness the presentation of the evidence. Defendant's Sixth Amendment claim failed because the district court's decision to appoint substitute counsel was reasonable and defendant showed no prejudice arising from that appointment. The court also held that the evidence was sufficient for a jury to convict on all three counts.