The Appellate Group

State v. Lee

State v. Lee, 2024 UT App 2 (Oliver, J.)


At his criminal trial, Defendant requested to represent himself after he was denied appointed counsel. The jury found him guilty on all seven charges. On appeal, Lee argues he did not knowingly and intelligently waive his right to counsel. The Utah Court of Appeals vacated Lee’s convictions and remanded, holding:

  • The court’s partial colloquy was inadequate. Lee waived his right to assistance of counsel without a knowing and intelligent understanding of the consequences of that decision.
  • Judicial tip: District court judges should keep a prepared Frampton waiver-of-counsel colloquy script at the ready.
  • Practice tip: The appellate courts’ strong presumption against waiver and resolution of doubt in favor of the defendant is in tension with the Utah Supreme Court’s allocation of burden on the defendant. Because of this, a clearer rule would be that where a trial court fails to employ a Frampton colloquy, the court maintains a presumption that waiver did not occur and the burden is on the State to prove otherwise.

Read the full court opinion