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United States v. Lua-Chavez

November 14, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JULIO LUA-CHAVEZ, AND GERARDO CASANOVA, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER RE: COUNSEL

The matter before the Court is the representation of Defendant Julio Lua-Chavez by attorney Adam Ruben.

FACTS

On May 31, 2007, the grand jury returned an indictment in 07CR1407 against Defendants Julio Lua-Chavez, Gerardo Casanova, and others charging Conspiracy to Import Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.

On May 31, 2007, the grand jury returned an indictment in 07CR1408 against Defendants Julio Lua-Chavez, Gerardo Casanova, and others charging in part Conspiracy to Import Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Defendant Julio Lua-Chavez is represented by retained counsel Adam Ruben in both 07CR1407 and 07CR1408.

On August 24, 2007, all counsel appeared before the Court for a status hearing regarding discovery. At this hearing, Adam Ruben, counsel for Defendant Lua-Chavez, informed the Court that he had previously represented Defendant Casanova in a prior case. The Court requested briefing on any potential conflict of interest.

On September 7, 2007, Defendant Lua-Chavez filed "Defendant's Memorandum Regarding Waiver of Conflict of Interest" which stated as follows:

1. Prior Representation of Gerrardo (sic) Casanova

Counsel's representation of Mr. Casanova consisted of filing a petition for remission or mitigation arising from the seizure from Mr. Casanova of $60,000.00. On September 2, 2006, Mr. Casanova's car was stopped and the currency was seized. Mr. Casanova retained defense counsel to show the currency was from a legitimate source.

On January 30, 2007, U.S. Customs and Border Protection denied Mr. Casanova's claim. A supplemental petition was filed on March 2, 2007. On March 22, 2007, defense counsel received a letter from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the supplemental had been referred to the National Seizures and Penalties Officer for consideration.

There was no information in the petitions that would have indicated any relation to or mention of Julio Lua-Chavez. There was no information to indicate that there was any potential conflict of interest between Mr. Casanova and Julio LuaChavez.

2. Current Representation of Julio Lua-Chavez

In the complaint in case 07 Cr 1407-WQH, there is specific reference to Julio Lua-Chavez and Mr. Casanova. Neither referenced name in the description refers to the other. Further, there is no information that either man knows of the other. There has been no information provided ...


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