State v. Guck

In State v. Guck, 176 Wis. 2d 845, 851, 500 N.W.2d 910 (1993), the supreme court decided "whether a defense attorney can waive an evidentiary hearing on behalf of a defendant." Id. at 853. In a four-to-three decision, the supreme court concluded that defense counsel is permitted to waive what, in the words of Wis. Stat. 971.14(4)(b), is the defendant's "respective opportunity" to have an evidentiary hearing to challenge the examiner's opinion on competency. Id. at 857. Clearly, however, the supreme court allowed defense counsel to waive the hearing on behalf of a defendant only "'in the absence of the express disapproval of the defendant on the record.'" Id. Indeed, the supreme court emphatically warned: "In cases where the defense attorney makes a waiver against the defendant's wishes or fails to properly inform the defendant before making the waiver, the defendant should bring a motion based on the failure to obtain the effective assistance of counsel. In such cases, the attorney might also be subject to discipline under the rules of ethics." Id.