In State v. Carlson, the court of appeals held that in order to prevail on a post-conviction claim based on an attorney’s conflict of interest, the defendant must show that his attorney had (1) loyalty to someone else, or a personal interest, that conflicted with defendant’s interests, and (2) the conflict negatively impacted the attorney’s representation in a manner adverse to the defendant’s interests. Jason Carlson was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting and killing George Featherly. Although he initially claimed that the true culprit was a man named “B,” he later told his attorney, Allen Dayan, that he had accidentally shot Featherly. Dayan arranged a recorded interview with police in which Carlson, in the presence of Dayan, confessed to the accidental shooting. Carlson later repudiated the confession and testified at trial that B killed Featherly. Carlson filed a petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that Dayan’s involvement in the confession created an “actual conflict of interest” which affected Dayan’s performance at trial and required a presumption of prejudice and a reversal of the convictions. The superior court agreed and reversed the convictions. The State appealed, and the court of appeals reversed. The court of appeals explained that to meet the legal standard for a conflict of interest claim, Carlson had to show that Dayan had a conflicting loyalty to someone else, or to his own personal interest, which adversely affected his ability represent Carlson’s interests. While Dayan may have acted incompetently in not recognizing the tension between his initial promotion of the confession as the truth, and his later promotion of the alternative perpetrator theory at trial, there was no evidence that Dayan ever acted based on loyalty to anyone but Carlson. As such, Carlson did not prove that there was an actual conflict of interest. Vacating the superior court’s ruling and remanding for further proceedings, the court of appeals held that to prevail on a conflict of interest claim, the defendant must show by clear and convincing evidence that (1) the attorney had a loyalty to another person, or to his own self-interest, which conflicted with his loyalty to the defendant, and (2) the conflict of loyalty negatively impacted the attorney’s ability to represent the defendant’s interests.
 440 P.3d 364 (Alaska Ct. App. 2019).