965 F.2d 839 (10th Cir. 1992), 91-3287, United States v. Martin

Docket Nº:91-3287.
Citation:965 F.2d 839
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Daniel R. MARTIN, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:May 26, 1992
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 839

965 F.2d 839 (10th Cir. 1992)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Daniel R. MARTIN, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 91-3287.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

May 26, 1992

Page 840

Kenneth W. Starr, Sol. Gen., U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., Lee Thompson, U.S. Atty., Gregory G. Hough, Asst. U.S. Atty., Topeka, Kan., for plaintiff-appellant.

Nancy E. Parrish, Topeka, Kan., Eric Stonecipher of Platt & Platt, Junction City, Kan., for defendant-appellee.

Before MOORE, TACHA, and BRORBY, Circuit Judges.


Defendant Daniel R. Martin was convicted, along with co-defendants, James Gish, James Waggoner, and Thomas Evans, of conspiring to possess, with intent to distribute, 500 pounds of marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), and 18 U.S.C. § 2. Defendant's conviction was affirmed on appeal, see United States v. Gish, Nos. 89-3006, 89-3007, and 89-3008 (10th Cir. Feb. 28, 1990) (unpublished order and judgment), and his petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court was denied. Defendant filed a Motion to Vacate and Set Aside Sentence or, in the Alternative, for a New Trial and Motion for Additional Relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel due to a conflict of interest. Following an evidentiary hearing, the district court determined that counsel's dual representation of Defendant and James Gish created an actual conflict of interest which affected counsel's representation of Defendant. The court further concluded that its advisement of Defendant pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 44(c) was inadequate, thereby rendering Defendant's waiver ineffective. 1 In a thorough and well-

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reasoned Memorandum and Order, the district court vacated Defendant's conviction and granted him a new trial. We affirm. 2


In April 1988, undercover Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Agents, Robert Benton and James Woods, met with Defendant, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Gish, in a motel room in Manhattan, Kansas, to discuss the purchase of a large amount of marijuana. During this meeting, which was videotaped, Defendant sampled the marijuana and indicated an interest in making the purchase, but stated he would need to talk to some other people in order to arrange for the money. Defendant does not appear to deny his involvement up to this point.

During the next several weeks, discussions continued between Agent Benton and Mr. Evans regarding the efforts to raise the money. Finally, Mr. Evans indicated to Agent Benton that another man, co-defendant James Waggoner, was interested in the purchase. Telephone records introduced at trial indicate several telephone calls from Mr. Gish to Defendant during this period of time. There was also testimony from the DEA agents implicating someone named "Dan" in the continuing negotiations regarding the drug transaction. 3

On May 12, 1988, Agent Benton met with Mr. Gish, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Waggoner at a Bennigan's restaurant in Topeka, Kansas, to consummate the deal. Immediately following the exchange of money and drugs, Mr. Gish, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Waggoner were arrested. Defendant voluntarily surrendered after learning that he was included in the indictment.

At trial, Defendant and Mr. Gish were represented by John Humpage. Mr. Waggoner and Mr. Evans each had independent counsel, although it appears to be undisputed that Mr. Humpage was lead counsel and primarily orchestrated the defense. See Appellant's App. B at 68 and 82. At the first pretrial motions' hearing, the district court informed the defendants of the possibility of a conflict of interest emanating from the dual representation. At that time, Defendant, after a short conference with Mr. Humpage, informed the court that the dual representation would be "no problem."

Mr. Humpage testified that he discussed with the defendants the possibility that a conflict could arise if the government offered one of the defendants a "deal" or if one of the defendants insisted on testifying. Id. at 83-85. Defendant contends that because of the conflict created by the dual representation, he was precluded from testifying in his own behalf. See id. at 13-21. He also testified that Mr. Humpage unilaterally refused an offer of plea negotiation from the DEA. Id. at 27. Defendant states that he did not challenge these decisions because Mr. Humpage told him that, if these conflicts arose, he would have to withdraw from the case. In that event, Defendant was afraid he would have to proceed to trial without benefit of counsel. Id. at 21.


"While we review de novo the district court's determination of whether an actual conflict existed, the court's resolution of the underlying facts giving rise to its conclusion is subject to a clearly erroneous standard of review." United States v. Suntar Roofing, Inc., 897 F.2d 469, 480 (10th Cir.1990) (citing United States v. Soto Hernandez, 849 F.2d 1325, 1328-29 (10th Cir.1988)). Because Defendant failed to raise a Sixth Amendment objection at trial, his conviction can only be disturbed upon a showing that an " 'actual conflict of interest adversely affected his lawyer's performance.' " United States v. Bowie, 892 F.2d 1494, 1500 (10th Cir.1990) (quoting Cuyler v. Sullivan, 446 U.S. 335, 350, 100 S.Ct. 1708, 1719, 64 L.Ed.2d 333 (1980)).

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In order to establish ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant must show (1) that his counsel's performance was deficient, and (2) that the deficiencies prejudiced the defense. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). However, where it is alleged that ineffective assistance was the result of a conflict of interest, there are special considerations that apply. United States v. Winkle, 722 F.2d 605, 609 (10th Cir.1983). " '[A] defendant who shows that a conflict of interest actually affected the adequacy of his representation need not demonstrate prejudice in order to obtain relief.' " Id. (quoting Cuyler, 446 U.S. at 349-50, 100 S.Ct. at 1719). In order to establish " 'the constitutional predicate' " for a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, Defendant must " 'show[ ] that his counsel actively represented conflicting interests.' " Soto Hernandez, 849 F.2d at 1329 (quoting Cuyler, 446 U.S. at 350, 100 S.Ct. at 1719) (emphasis added in Soto Hernandez ). Once such a showing...

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