The Appellate Group

State v. Florreich

State v. Florreich, 2024 UT App 9 (Tenney, J.)


 A jury convicted Defendant of seven counts related to the sexual abuse of a child. On appeal, Defendant raised twelve claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and moved for a rule 23B remand. The Utah Court of Appeals denied the ruled 23B motion and affirmed, holding:

  • While this case presented defense counsel with difficult strategic choices in the proceedings below, there was no basis for reversing Defendant’s convictions due to any of the twelve claims (including failure to exclude Defendant’s pretext call), or any basis for granting the rule 23B motion.
  • Practice tip: To prevail on an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, it’s not enough for Defendant to show that the defense counsel’s approach was problematic, but Defendant also has to show what defense counsel should have done instead.
  • Practice tip: In the proceedings below, defense counsel—in closing arguments—made a comparison that involved Hitler. The court of appeals noted that a decision to use Hitler as a reference point is one that is fraught with peril and should be avoided in most any case.

Read the full court opinion