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9.

Counsel should consider whether expert or investigative assistance, including consultation and testimony, is necessary or appropriate. Counsel should utilize ex parte and in camera procedures to secure the assistance of experts when it is necessary or appropriate to:

  • a.

    The preparation of the defense;

  • b.

    Adequate understanding of the prosecution's case;

  • c.

    Rebut the prosecution's case or provide evidence to establish any available

defense;

  • d.

    Investigate the client’s competence to proceed, mental state at the time of the offense, or capacity to make a knowing and intelligent waiver of constitutional rights; and

  • e.

    Mitigate any punishment that may be assessed after a verdict or plea of guilty to the alleged offense.

10.

If representing a client with mental illness or a developmental disability, counsel should seek available mental health records (e.g., records of previous court cases in which mental health issues may have been raised; mental health treatment records, whether institutional or in the community). Counsel should consider obtaining these records using a HIPAA (Health Insurance and Portability Act) release instead of a subpoena in order to maintain client confidentiality.

C. During case preparation and throughout trial, counsel should identify potential legal issues and the corresponding objections. Counsel should consider the tactics of when and how to raise those objections. Counsel also should consider how best to respond to objections that could be raised by the prosecution.

  • A.

    Counsel has a duty to pursue discovery procedures provided by the rules of the jurisdiction and such informal discovery methods as may be available. Counsel should pursue formal and informal discovery as soon as practicable and to the extent reasonably necessary to zealously and effectively represent the client.

  • B.

    Counsel should consider seeking discovery of the following items:

1. All information to which the client is entitled under Art. 39.14 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;

  • 2.

    Potential exculpatory information;

  • 3.

    Potential mitigating information;

11

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