Malpractice claim against criminal defense lawyer is reinstated after Supreme Court holds that plaintiff was denied effective counsel
Jackob Trakhtenberg was found guilty of criminal sexual conduct involving his daughter. He appealed, maintaining that his attorney, Deborah McKelvy, had not provided him with effective counsel. He also filed a civil suit against McKelvy. Among other claims, he argued that McKelvy completely failed to impeach his ex-wife by showing that her pre-existing strong bias against him. The Court of Appeals rejected both his criminal appeal and his civil claim, but the Supreme Court overturned both decisions. After the Supreme Court ruled that Trakhtenberng was, indeed, denied effective criminal counsel, the civil malpractice action against McKelvy was reinstated.