Lawyer's Alleged Failure to Represent Raise the Admissibility of An Expert's Testimony

In Phillips v. State, 894 So. 2d 28, 40-41 (Fla. 2004), this Court addressed a claim that appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the admissibility of an expert's testimony during a second penalty phase in violation of Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.211(e). This Court concluded that the expert's testimony "was proper, and appellate counsel cannot be deemed ineffective for failing to raise a meritless issue." Phillips, 894 So. 2d at 41 (citing Long v. State, 610 So. 2d 1268, 1275 (Fla. 1992)). The expert testified that he had conducted a "mental status examination" of the defendant. Phillips, 894 So. 2d at 41. Certainly, the term "competency" can do no more harm than the term "mental status examination." It simply appears the majority is improperly receding from this Court's decision in Phillips without acknowledging that it is doing so.