Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Cases In District of Columbia

It is true that when a defendant raises a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel before trial begins, the trial court must usually conduct an inquiry into the defendant's allegations. See Monroe v. United States, 389 A.2d 811 (D.C.), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 1006, 58 L. Ed. 2d 683, 99 S. Ct. 621 (1978); Farrell v. United States, 391 A.2d 755 (D.C. 1978). The standard by which such pre-trial claims of ineffective assistance are measured is whether counsel's representation is "within the range of competence demanded of attorneys in criminal cases." Monroe, 389 A.2d at 819 (citing McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 759, 771, 25 L. Ed. 2d 763, 90 S. Ct. 1441 (1970)). But "once jeopardy attaches, Monroe and Farrell are no longer applicable." Scott, 619 A.2d at 922; accord, e.g., Moctar v. United States, 718 A.2d 1063, 1064-1066 (D.C. 1998). From that point on, the two-pronged Strickland standard (deficient performance and resulting prejudice) applies. See Scott, 619 A.2d at 922. Since this was a non-jury trial, jeopardy attached when the first witness was sworn and began to testify. Serfass v. United States, 420 U.S. 377, 388, 43 L. Ed. 2d 265, 95 S. Ct. 1055 (1975); Mason v. United States, 346 A.2d 250, 251 (D.C. 1975).