This article examines a difficult question in the representation of mentally impaired criminal defendants: should counsel be obligated to inform the court of doubts about a client's competency to stand trial even though doing so may be contrary to the client's wishes or best interests? Professor Rodney J. Uphoff analyzes authorities that impose such an obligation on defense lawyers, including an American Bar Association Criminal Justice Standard and a recent decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, State v. Johnson. Uphoff concludes that these authorities needlessly undercut the mentally impaired defendant's right to zealous representation. He proposes an alternative ethical model for defense attorneys, in which counsel would make a case-by-case determination.
Rodney J. Uphoff, The Role of the Criminal Defense Lawyer in Representing the Mentally Impaired Defendant: Zealous Advocate or Officer of the Court?, 1988 Wis. L. Rev. 65 (1988)