Iowa Supreme Court Cites Prof. Joy’s Criminal Law Scholarship

The scholarship of Professor Peter Joy has been cited twice recently in opinions issued by the Supreme Court of Iowa. The first, Barker v. Magee, centered on whether to adopt proof of innocence as a requirement for recovering in legal malpractice cases against criminal defense attorneys. The court refused to accept the standard.

In the Barker case, Joy’s work, “Ensuring the Ethical Representation of Clients in the Face of Excessive Caseloads” 75 Missouri Law Review 771 (2010) was cited by Judge Bruce Zager in his dissent. Zager quoted statistics from Joy that more than 80 percent of all criminal defendants in this country are represented by court-appointed counsel, then argued that the resulting increase in potential malpractice cases because of the court’s decision would deter attorneys from entering criminal practice.

The second case, Rhoades v. State of Iowa, considered whether a defendant who has pled guilty to a criminal offense, but later successfully challenged the validity of the plea, may qualify as a “wrongfully imprisoned person” and be awarded compensation. The Court confirmed the district judge’s ruling of a summary judgment in favor of the State of Iowa.

In the majority opinion, Judge Brent R. Appel cited Joy’s article, “Brady and Jailhouse Informants: Responding to Injustice”57 Case Western Reserve Law Review 619 (2007), in reference to similar cases in which defendants pled guilty and were later exonerated by new evidence.

Joy is well-known for his work in clinical legal education, and his writing on legal ethics, criminal justice, access to justice issues, and trial practice. As director of the Criminal Justice Clinic, he supervises students who provide direct legal representation to clients and work with experienced public defenders on criminal matters.

Joy is a recipient of the Association of American Law Schools' (AALS) Pincus Award for outstanding contribution to clinical legal education and is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar’s Standards Review Committee.

By Kathleen Nelson, Fall 2016