From the February 2007 Idaho Observer:

The fraternity

I enjoyed your article on tyrant judges (The doctrines "they" use to wage legal war on "us", The IO, Dec., 2006). But another serious issue has been brought to my attention. The courts have adopted a bright line rule to protect defense lawyers in criminal cases. The rule is that no matter how derelict your attorney’s actions are in your criminal trial you cannot file a malpractice lawsuit against him, unless you first overturn your criminal case in the appeals court or on direct appeal. The Supreme Court of Colorado, Rantz v. Kaufam, 109 P. 3rd 132 (Colo. 2005).

In the 2005 Colorado decision it was stated that lawyers were professionals just like doctors and others in the professional business and none of them are being protected by the courts and neither should lawyers. The court held that post-conviction relief is not a prerequisite to bringing a cause for legal malpractice.

However, Florida Circuit Court Judge Michael G. Allen opined that, "Unfortunately for the plaintiff [Louis Romain], as noted by the Supreme Court of Colorado, the law in Florida is different and it is incumbent upon a plaintiff to state a cause of action for legal malpractice to allege that he has been exonerated by appellate or post-conviction relief and that he is actually innocent of the offense for which he was convicted."

The instant case I am speaking of involved my attorney, Steven E. Quinnel, who, my complaint alleges, slept through half of my trial. The jury was so confused it convicted me on a count in the indictment for which I wasn’t even named. The record shows that Quinnell allowed the judge to send the foreman of the jury back to the jury room to initial the count of the indictment so I could be found guilty on that count as well.

The other errors that were made during the trial and sentencing are numerous and made to cover the underlying fact of the case: My innocence.

The criminal conviction came out of the District Court for the Northern District of Florida with Judge Roger Vinson presiding.

Louis Romain

Ayer, Massachusetts

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