Lawyer Did Not Make Preparation for a Trial - Consequences

In State v. Pearce, 994 So. 2d 1094 (Fla. 2008), trial counsel testified. The lawyer who had primary responsibility for the penalty phase "testified that he did not conduct any preparation for the penalty phase of the trial." 994 So. 2d at 1101. Other evidence was presented concerning actions that counsel failed to undertake. The court concluded in Pearce that "counsel was unable to advise Pearce as to potential mitigation." Id. at 1103. Relying on Koon and its progeny, we concluded that Pearce was entitled to relief. The Pearce opinion contains no indication that counsel gave any testimony specifically concerning the substance of the advice given by counsel to the defendant concerning mitigation. To the extent that Pearce can be read as suggesting that the substance of such advice has no bearing on a claim that a waiver of mitigation was invalid due to counsel's ineffectiveness, it cannot be reconciled with Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984).