Lambert v. Blodgett
248 F. Supp. 2d 988 (E.D. Wa. 2003)
Lambert, a juvenile, was charged with murder and his case was transferred to adult court. He pled guilty and received a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole, the same sentence he would have received if he had gone to trial.
Lambert brought this habeas corpus action, seeking to overturn his guilty plea and conviction on the ground that he had been denied effective assistance of counsel. The district court concluded that Lambert had not received effective representation, and set aside his plea and conviction.
One area of ineffective representation concerned a psychological evaluation of Lambert. The attorney retained a psychologist to conduct an evaluation; the psychologist concluded that Lambert was extremely dangerous and had no mental problems.
248 F. Supp. at 1011. This decision illustrates that an attorney who does consult a psychologist or other expert may still be guilty of ineffective assistance if the attorney fails to provide the expert with needed information. It also recognizes that FAS may provide the basis for a diminished capacity defense.