United States v. DeLaura, No. 14-1204 (2d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant argued that his defense counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel based on a conflict of interest because counsel was involved in a possible secret sexual relationship with defendant's mother. The district judge questioned counsel, but counsel refused to answer the questions and is now deceased. Defendant ultimately agreed to waive any hypothetical conflicts; the district court decided that any conflict was waived; and the district court accepted defendant's guilty plea. The Second Circuit affirmed the conviction, holding that defendant's claim, considering the gaps in the record, was better suited for collateral review. Therefore, the court declined to consider the ineffectiveness argument on direct appeal and reasoned that a thorough evidentiary hearing would be justified if a habeas petition was filed.