The Appellate Group

Bryant v. State

Bryant v. State, 2021 UT App 30 (Orme, J.)

Petitioner filed a petition for relief under the Post-Conviction Remedies Act, contending that he accepted the plea only because of his attorney’s ineffective assistance in investigating the case and preparing to mount a defense, as Petitioner had instructed. Following the filing of his post-conviction petition, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the State. On appeal, the court of appeals affirmed, holding:

  • There was not a genuine issue of material fact when regarding ineffective assistance when, during the plea colloquy, Petitioner admitted guilt and stated that he was satisfied with his representation, even though he was aware of his attorney’s conduct before entering the plea.
  • The court of appeals did not consider Petitioner’s explanation of the difference between his plea colloquy and post-plea statements to be sufficient to raise an issue of fact. Although the question at the summary judgment stage was limited to whether Petitioner’s explanation was sufficient to create a factual dispute that should go to the factfinder, the court of appeals expressed concern over “condoning the practice by defendants of providing untruthful responses to questions during the plea colloquies.”

Read the full court opinion