Professor Grace Giesel Instrumental in Kentucky Supreme Court Opinion

On August 21, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion affirming Kentucky Bar Association Ethics Opinion E-435. E-435 establishes 1) that it is unethical  for a criminal defense attorney to advise a client with regard to a plea agreement that waives the client’s right to pursue ineffective assistance of counsel claims, and 2) that it is unethical for a prosecutor to propose a plea agreement that requires such a waiver.


Professor Grace Giesel, in her role as Chair of the KBA Ethics Committee, was instrumental in the creation of the opinion. Last September, Professor Giesel presented to the Law School community, in the First Annual Flexner Forum, a discussion of the opinion. The law school community also had the benefit of hosting the Kentucky Supreme Court oral argument on a challenge by the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky to KBA E-435.