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Family Law No. 02-02-121-CV, 3/27/2003. Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS: The trial court adjudicated appellant as having engaged in delinquent conduct by committing the felony offense of burglary of a habitation and committed appellant to the Texas Youth Commission for an indeterminate period of time. HOLDING: Affirmed. The appellant asserts that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his attorney did not challenge by objection, examination, or cross-examination the information contained in the progress reports that were considered by the trial court at the continued disposition hearing. Joining other courts of appeals, the court holds that a juvenile is entitled to effective assistance of counsel. In Re: K.J.O., 27 S.W.3d 340 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2000, pet. denied). The court also holds that the effectiveness of counsel’s representation in a juvenile proceeding is to be reviewed under the familiar two-prong Strickland v. Washingtonstandard. First, appellant must show that his counsel’s performance was deficient; second, appellant must show that the deficient performance prejudiced the defense. An allegation of ineffective assistance must be firmly founded in the record, and the record must affirmatively demonstrate the alleged ineffectiveness. Thompson v. State, 9 S.W.3d 808 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). In his brief, the appellant acknowledges that the family code authorizes the juvenile court to consider written reports from professional consultants. Texas Family Code �54.04(b). Thus, his complaint is not that the trial court reviewed the reports, but that his attorney did not dispute the information contained in them. He points to nothing in the record, however, that indicates the information was false or inaccurate. Nor is there anything in the record explaining appellant’s counsel’s reason for not challenging the information in the reports. When the record is silent on the motivations underlying counsel’s tactical decision, the appellant usually cannot overcome the strong presumption that counsel’s conduct was reasonable. Mallett v. State, 65 S.W.3d 59 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001). The court concludes that the appellant failed to meet his burden of proof to show that his attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel because there is nothing in the record demonstrating that counsel’s failure to challenge the information contained in the reports was unreasonable or that the result of the commitment proceeding would have been different had appellant’s counsel disputed the information. OPINION: Per curiam.

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