In What Circumstances Can a New Lawyer Be Appointed to Address a Posttrial Pro Se Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claim ?

In People v. Shaw, 351 Ill. App. 3d 1087, 1090-91, 815 N.E.2d 469, 287 Ill. Dec. 66 (2004), the defendant, in a letter sent to the court during proceedings on a motion to reconsider the sentence, alleged that his privately retained counsel was ineffective. The motion to reconsider was denied and, on appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court erred by failing to conduct an inquiry into his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. The Fourth District addressed circumstances when new counsel should be appointed to address a posttrial pro se ineffective assistance of counsel claim. The court recognized that, unlike situations involving court-appointed counsel, when private counsel is retained, the defendant has the authority to alter that relationship and could retain other counsel if he or she believed the original counsel was ineffective. The court further observed that the defendant made no requests for new counsel and stated in dicta that, "even if it were true that defendant could no longer afford to hire another private counsel, he could have told the court that he wished to fire his then-counsel and asked the trial court to again appoint counsel to represent him." Shaw, 351 Ill. App. 3d at 1092. The court then determined that the trial court did not err by failing to inquire into the matter. Shaw, 351 Ill. App. 3d at 1092.