Peters v. Denver, written by Professor Thomas Jay Leach and Professor Cary Bricker, both of Pacific McGeorge Law School, is a civil action charging legal malpractice on the part of attorney D.C. Denver. Paul Peters was tried and convicted on charges of aggravated battery and attempted murder. Along with his co-defendant, Carl Chastis, Peters was co-represented by Denver the time of their arrest through the verdict. Neither defendant testified in the criminal trial and both men were convicted on all charges, furthermore, Peters received a prison sentence of life with parole after 20 years.
In this suit, Peters charges that Denver provided his defense under an impermissible conflict of interest between his duties to the two criminal defendants, depriving Peters of proper representation which led to his conviction. This well-balanced case could go either way, and its ethics issues are a subject for challenging questions to witnesses as well as well-reasoned closing arguments.
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