Notable Decisions and Other News

Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Judge Lippman Grants Leave on Issue Involving Speedy Trial and Ineffectiveness


In September of 2014, the Appellate Division affirmed Steven Henderson’s conviction for first-degree rape and related charges.  The court concluded that trial counsel had not preserved for appeal the claim that Mr. Henderson was denied his statutory right to a speedy trial by the People's decision to test forensic evidence for DNA one piece at a time.  The court declined to reach the merits in the interest of justice and also held that appellant had failed to establish that he was deprived of his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel.

On March 25, 2015, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman granted leave to the Court of Appeals.   The case raises the following issue: whether the People’s decision to test the evidence one piece at a time violated their due diligence obligation and, if so, whether such an issue is the kind of clear-cut error that would give rise to an ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

Leila Hull brief and argued the case in the Appellate Division and will continue to represent Mr. Henderson before the Court of Appeals.