USA v. Aaron Broussard


UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [14-30876 Affirmed ] Judge: JES , Judge: ECP , Judge: PRO Mandate pull date is 04/27/2015 [14-30876]

Download PDF
Case: 14-30876 Document: 00512957740 Page: 1 Date Filed: 03/04/2015 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT No. 14-30876 United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED March 4, 2015 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff−Appellee, Lyle W. Cayce Clerk versus AARON F. BROUSSARD, Defendant–Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana USDC No. 2:14-CV-432 Before SMITH, PRADO, and OWEN, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM:* Aaron Broussard appeals the denial of his motion for collateral relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The district court issued a certificate of appealability on one issue—the only one Broussard was permitted to bring under his plea agreement—ineffective assistance of counsel affecting the validity of his guilty Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. * Case: 14-30876 Document: 00512957740 Page: 2 Date Filed: 03/04/2015 No. 14-30876 plea. He contends that prosecutorial misconduct interfered with his counsel’s ability to give competent advice and rendered his lawyer constructively ineffective, such that prejudice should be presumed under United States v. Cronic, 466 U.S. 648 (1984). 1 Broussard fails to articulate a claim under the narrow category of cases involving “affirmative government interference in the representation process.” Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 682 (1984). That category encompasses only those government actions that impose affirmative bars or obstacles on counsel’s ability effectively to conduct a defense, such as restricting a lawyer from conferring with his client overnight during trial or limiting how counsel may examine the defendant at trial. See id. at 686 (citing cases). “We read these cases as pointing to a constructive denial of counsel only where a government rule affirmatively forces counsel to make a choice he or she might not otherwise make in the context of a particular case.” May v. Collins, 948 F.2d 162, 167 (5th Cir. 1991). Nothing alleged here rises to the degree of interference that Cronic requires. Having considered the briefs, the facts, and applicable law, and having heard the arguments of counsel, and assuming, without deciding, that the issues urged on appeal were properly preserved, we find no reversible error. The order denying relief is AFFIRMED. The district court analyzed Broussard’s claim under the Washington standard because that is how Broussard presented it in his initial memorandum in support of the § 2255 motion. He raised a Cronic claim for the first time only in response to the government’s opposition. On appeal, he now asserts that the claim was under Cronic all along and relies solely on that theory. We need not consider whether Broussard abandoned this claim by inadequately presenting it to the district court because we can, and do, straightforwardly resolve the merits. See United States v. Cervantes, 132 F.3d 1106, 1109 (5th Cir. 1998). 1 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?