In Trevino v. Thaler the Supreme Court expanded on it’s finding in Martinez v. Ryan In Coleman v. Thompson the Supreme Court stated that that“[n]egligence on the part of a prisoner’s postconviction attorney does not qualify as ‘cause’ to reverse a conviction. But in Martinez the Supreme Court found an exception to Coleman in states like Arizona where
(1) the claim of “ineffective assistance of trial counsel” was a “substantial” claim; (2) the “cause” consisted of there being “no counsel” or only “ineffective” counsel during the state collateral review proceeding; (3) the state collateral review proceeding was the “initial” review proceeding in respect to the “ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim”; and (4) state law requires that an “ineffective assistance of trial counsel [claim] . . . be raised in an initial-review collateral proceeding.”
In Trevino the Court modified the Martinez exception to include cases in states such as Texas where the state does not explicitly require
“that an ineffective assistance of trial counsel [claim] . . . be raised in an initial-review collateral proceeding” but . . . by its design and operation, makes it highly unlikely in a typical case that a defendant will have a meaningful opportunity to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel on direct appeal.”
Thus where state law makes it difficult to raise an issue of incompetence of counsel on direct appeal and habeas counsel is ineffective in not raising incompetence of counsel in the initial appeal, habeas counsel’s incompetence can be a reason to overturn a conviction in a Federal habeas action.
It found that there was virtually no difference where the state explicitly forbids the trial court from considering the competence of trial counsel and states which implicitly forbid the trial court from considering the competence of trial counsel.