A Kootenai County man should get a chance to appeal his conviction on drug charges, the Idaho Court of Appeals held today, because he told his lawyer immediately after the jury verdict that he wanted to “appeal everything.” The lawyer told the man, Kirk Julliard Gosch, to schedule an appointment to discuss “exactly what he wanted to appeal,” but Gosch never did so, and didn't respond to several subsequent contacts from the lawyer. 1st District Judge Benjamin Simpson held that it was not the lawyer's inaction, but Gosch's that resulted in no appeal being filed; the appellate court disagreed.
“If counsel either neglects or refuses to file an appeal despite a criminal defendant's request to do so, counsel is deficient,” wrote appeals court Judge John Melanson in the unanimous decision. The ruling sends the case back to 1st District Court, where Gosch can now file a petition to appeal his conviction for manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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