Lawyer’s Error Does Not Toll Federal Habeas Statute of Limitations

Cadet v. STATE OF FLORIDA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, 853 F. 3d 1216 – Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit 2017 – Google Scholar:

Earlier this year the 11th Circuit court of appeals held that an attorney’s error in calculating the deadline for filing a federal habeas corpus petition was not sufficient to allow equitable tolling of the limitations period. The court explains:

What we hold today, and all that we hold, is that an attorney’s negligence, even gross negligence, or misunderstanding about the law is not by itself a serious instance of attorney misconduct for equitable tolling purposes, even though it does violate the ABA model rules as all, or virtually all, attorney negligence does. See Luna, 784 F.3d at 647 (explaining why negligently miscalculating a filing deadline alone is not and cannot be a sufficient basis for finding attorney misconduct for tolling purposes). Because Cadet has shown, at most, that his failure to meet the filing deadline was the product of his attorney’s good faith but negligent or grossly negligent misunderstanding of the law, the district court properly dismissed the habeas petition as untimely.

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