Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Requirements

A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel has two components: 'First, the defendant must show that counsel's performance was deficient. This requires showing that counsel made errors so serious that counsel was not functioning as the "counsel" guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment. Second, the defendant must show that the deficient performance prejudiced the defense. This requires showing that counsel's errors were so serious as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable.' To establish ineffectiveness, a 'defendant must show that counsel's representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.' To establish prejudice he 'must show that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable probability is a probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome." (Williams v. Taylor (2000) U.S. 146 L. Ed. 2d 389 120 S. Ct. 1495, 1511-1512; 20 WL 385369, citing Strickland v. Washington (1984) 466 U.S. 668, 694, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674, 104 S. Ct. 2052; In re Jones (1996) 13 Cal. 4th 552, 561, 917 P.2d 1175.) The ineffectiveness must "deprive the defendant of a substantive or procedural right to which the law entitles him." (Williams v. Taylor, supra, U.S. at p. 120 S. Ct. at p. 1513. "There are situations in which the overriding focus on fundamental fairness may affect the analysis." (Id. at p. 120 S. Ct. at p. 1512.) Strategic choices made after thorough investigation of law and facts relevant to plausible options are virtually unchallengeable. . . ." (In re Cudjo (1999) 20 Cal. 4th 673, 692, 977 P.2d 66.) However, such deference cannot be abdication. Deference " ' "must never be used to insulate counsel's performance from meaningful scrutiny and thereby automatically validate challenged acts or omissions." ' 'Otherwise, the constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel would be reduced to form without substance." (In re Jones, supra, 13 Cal. 4th at pp. 561-562.) "Defense counsel have the obligation to investigate all defenses, explore the factual bases for defenses citation and the applicable law." (People v. Maguire (1998) 67 Cal. App. 4th 1022, 1028.) "The defendant can be expected to rely on counsel's independent evaluation of the charges, applicable law, and evidence, and of the risks and probable outcome of trial." (In re Alvernaz, supra, 2 Cal. 4th at p. 933.)