Holland v. Florida - Oral Argument - March 01, 2010

Holland v. Florida

Media for Holland v. Florida

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 14, 2010 in Holland v. Florida

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 01, 2010 in Holland v. Florida

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

We'll hear argument next in Case 09-5327, Holland v. Florida.

Mr. Scher.

Todd G. Scher:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: It is undisputed that Petitioner was not provided notice that the State supreme court had denied his postconviction appeal and had issued its mandate, with the result being that his AEDPA statute of limitations expired.

The very day he learned this, Petitioner immediately prepared a pro se habeas petition and filed it within 24 hours.

Before this, Petitioner had taken--

Sonia Sotomayor:

How do -- what in the record shows us that the failure to tell him that by the lawyer was anything other than negligence?

What in the record suggests that the lawyer, just as many lawyers do, forgot to call the client, forgot to send him something?

What shows that this is more than negligence?

Todd G. Scher:

--Well, first of all, we have what the Eleventh Circuit characterized Mr. Collins's conduct as, which was gross negligence.

And what we have here is a confluence--

Sonia Sotomayor:

Well, I'm trying to find the basis for that finding.

Todd G. Scher:

--We have a repeated pattern.

For example, first of all we have to go back in terms of what happened in State court.

First we have Mr. Collins's assurances to Mr. Holland that he would in fact file his Federal -- or was aware of this--

Sonia Sotomayor:

But -- but--

Todd G. Scher:

--I'm sorry.

Sonia Sotomayor:

--That's what his intent was.

Todd G. Scher:

Correct.

Sonia Sotomayor:

People say I'm going to do something, and they fail to do it often because something else comes up, because something has happened.

That doesn't show intentionality in -- the failure to act doesn't necessarily prove that it was intentional.

Todd G. Scher:

Well -- well, in terms of that what we have here, for example, is Mr. Collins was given two opportunities -- or the record shows that there were two opportunities for Mr. Collins to provide answers to these very questions.

The most significant of those responses was -- was in the Federal district court where the Federal district judge in fact issued a show cause order to Mr. Collins asking him to respond specifically to Mr. Holland's allegations.

And in that response Mr. Collins completely ignored all of Mr. Holland's allegations.

He never denied that -- being instructed to file the petition.

He never denied that he had in fact informed Mr. Holland that he wouldn't -- that he would file the petition.

He never denied any of the allegations with regard to the fact that Mr. Holland wanted that Federal habeas petition filed on time.

He just went on to address--

Antonin Scalia:

Well, that -- but that's the case in every case where -- where the lawyer is negligent and doesn't do something that -- that should have been done.

Todd G. Scher:

--Well--

Antonin Scalia:

He has assured the client, I will take care of your case, and he doesn't do it.