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A computer wholesaler convicted of selling counterfeit goods was granted a new trial after a judge ruled that her attorney did a bad job defending her. U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper vacated the conviction of Joan Huang Monday and granted her a new trial after calling lawyer David E. Brockway's performance "utterly deficient."

Brockway made no opening statement, called no witnesses, presented no evidence and did not cross-examine several witnesses in the May 2006 trial that ended with Huang being sentenced to 12 months in prison, her current lawyer Ronald O. Kaye said. Huang has been free on bail since the conviction.

Brockway said in a declaration filed as part of prosecutors' arguments opposing a new trial for Huang that he didn't cross-examine every government witness because he didn't "believe that significant points could be scored."

He also acknowledged in the filings that he lost a box of documents from Huang's previous lawyer, whom she had dismissed after he advised her to plead guilty to the federal felony charges against her.

Brockway appeared in court to represent Huang the day after the State Bar Court said he should be suspended for five years for allegedly taking thousands of dollars from four Asian immigrant clients who spoke little or no English and failing to do any work for them. The court found him culpable of 14 counts of misconduct against the four clients.


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