The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has again declined to expand the small universe of situations where attorney conduct at a trial constitutes per se ineffectiveness of counsel.

Ruling in a case where an attorney allegedly missed a small portion of testimony in which his client was identified as dealing in contraband cigarettes, the circuit said the brief absence from trial did not “necessarily” evidence a breakdown of the adversarial system designed to ensure confidence in the verdict.

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