Conrad v. State (2002)

In Conrad v. State, 77 S.W.3d 424, 426 n.13 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 2002, pet. ref'd), the Fort Worth Court of Appeals found that trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in failing to investigate the appellant's mental health history. Conrad, 77 S.W.3d 424. The court of appeals noted that trial counsel relied on reports from the State's appointed mental health experts who found that appellant was competent to stand trial and that counsel did no further investigation into his client's mental health status. Id. at 426. In finding trial counsel ineffective, the court of appeals noted: "Trial counsel did not discuss the doctors' findings with them, even though he agreed they had been cooperative with him in the past. Trial counsel looked at no medical records regarding Appellant, did not request his own expert, did not contact the Social Security Administration about Appellant's mental illness, did not speak to the attorneys who had represented Appellant in the past, and did not speak with any doctors treating Appellant at the VA hospital. Trial counsel testified that Appellant believed he had no mental problems and did not want a competency examination." Id.