The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Lawrence K. Karlton
ORDER EXCLUDING TIME UNDER SPEEDY TRIAL ACT, AND SETTING FURTHER STATUS CONFERENCE DATE
On July 22, 2008, plaintiff United States of America and defendant Jose Maria Meza-Portillo appeared before the Court for a status conference on Meza-Portillo's request for new counsel. Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Wong appeared on behalf of the United States. Candace Fry, Esq., appeared with her client, Meza-Portillo. Hayes Gable, III, Esq., appeared in court to accept appointment as new counsel for Meza-Portillo.
Mr. Gable advised the Court that Meza-Portillo had very recently advised him that Meza-Portillo's family was attempting to retain private counsel for him, but that the family needed additional time to ascertain whether the family would, in fact, be able to retain counsel for him.
Based on this information, the Court excuses Ms. Fry as counsel for Meza-Portillo and appoints Mr. Gable as interim counsel for him pending final determination whether the family would be able to retain private counsel.
Based on the representations of Meza-Portillo, and good cause appearing therefrom, the Court sets a new status conference hearing on August 5, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., for a hearing on the identification of Meza-Portillo's new counsel. The Court orders that time from July 22, 2008, to, and including, August 5, 2008, shall be excluded from computation of time within which the trial of this case must be commenced under the Speedy Trial Act to allow new counsel for Meza-Portillo time to prepare his defense, pursuant to Local Code T4.
The Court finds that the failure to grant a continuance in this case would deny Meza-Portillo's counsel reasonable time necessary for effective preparation of his client's defense, taking into account the exercise of due diligence. The Court specifically finds that the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the interests of the public and defendant in a speedy trial.
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