Mashaney v. Bd. of Indigents' Defense Servs.Annotate this Case
After a second mistrial, Appellant was convicted of sex-related crimes. The convictions were affirmed on appeal. Appellant later filed a Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-1507 motion alleging ineffective assistance of both trial counsel and direct appeal counsel. The district court ultimately granted the motion and reversed the conviction. Thereafter, pursuant to a plea agreement, Appellant entered an Alford plea on different charges. In exchange, the State dropped the original charges. Between entering into the plea agreement and sentencing, Appellant filed this legal malpractice action against trial and appellate counsel and the Board of Indigents’ Defense Services (BIDS). The district court ruled that BIDS lacked the capacity to be sued, that Appellant’s Alford plea foreclosed the relief sought, and that Appellant’s claim was time barred. The Court of Appeal agreed with the district court with the exception of the statute of limitations issue, ruling that Appellant’s claim was timely filed. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the Court of Appeals correctly found that BIDS is not subject to suit in a legal malpractice action; (2) Defendant may pursue this legal malpractice claim without first demonstrating actual innocence of the charged crimes; and (3) this suit was timely filed under the applicable statute of limitations.