After entry of the plea, counsel should be prepared to address the issue of release pending sentencing. If the client has been released pending trial, counsel should be prepared to argue and persuade the court that the client's continued release is warranted and appropriate. If the client is in custody prior to the entry of the plea, counsel should, when practicable, advocate for and present to the court all reasons warranting the client's release on bail pending sentencing.
Subsequent to the acceptance of the plea, counsel should make every effort to review and explain the plea proceedings with the client and to respond to any client questions and concerns.
Throughout preparation and trial, counsel should consider the theory of the defense and make decisions and act in a manner consistent with that theory.
The decision to seek to proceed with or without a jury during both the guilt and punishment phases of the trial rests solely with the client after consultation with counsel. Counsel should discuss the strategic considerations relevant to this decision with the client, including the availability of different sentencing options depending on whether sentence is assessed by a judge or jury and the need to obtain the prosecution’s consent to proceed without a jury on guilt. Counsel should maintain a record of the advice provided to the client, as well as the client’s decision concerning trial. Counsel has an obligation to advise the court of the client’s decision in a timely manner.
C. Counsel should complete investigation, discovery, and research in advance of trial, such that counsel is confident that the most viable defense theory has been fully developed, pursued, and refined. This preparation should include consideration of:
Subpoenaing and interviewing all potentially helpful witnesses;
Subpoenaing all potentially helpful physical or documentary evidence;
Obtaining funds and arranging for defense experts to consult or testify on evidentiary
issues that are potentially helpful (e.g., testing of physical evidence, opinion testimony, etc.);
Obtaining and reading transcripts of prior proceedings in the case or related proceedings;
Obtaining photographs and preparing charts, maps, diagrams, or other visual aids of all scenes, persons, objects, or information that may assist the fact finder in understanding the defense; and
Obtaining and reviewing the court file of any co-defendant(s) and contacting co- defendant’s counsel to obtain information about the co-defendant’s case and ascertain, to the extent possible, what the co-defendant‘s strategy was or will be, and whether the outcome of the client’s case will be affected thereby.
When appropriate, counsel should have the following materials available at the time of trial:
1. Copies of all relevant documents filed in the case;