The right to counsel is such a fundamental principle that the denial of that right calls into question the entire validity of any trial where a defendant is not represented by an attorney. That was the issue presented by our own Attorney Stephen Lebedevitch to the Supreme Court in Newland v. Commissioner of Corrections.
Mr. Newland was denied the assistance of the public defender because he owned a home that was in foreclosure. Mr. Newland was forced to try a serious felony case, by himself, because he was denied the right to counsel.
Mr. Newland always wanted a lawyer, never wanted to represent himself, and he qualified for the public defender's assistance.
Mr. Newland's conviction was overturned by a court hearing his Habeas Corpus petition. The Commissioner of Corrections then appealed that decision and the fight for Mr. Newland's constitutional rights and freedom ultimately landed in the hands of Attorney Stephen Lebedevitch.
Stephen argued for Mr. Newland before the Supreme Court of Connecticut who just last week upheld the decision to overturn Mr. Newland's conviction.
All of us at the Maddox Law Firm are very proud of Stephen's dedication to Mr. Newland. Stephen fought for the better part of six years on behalf of his client. He fought fiercely, relentlessly and with exceptional intellect. Congratulations Mr. Newland and Attorney Stephen Lebedevitch.