IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 21, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
ERIC BROOKS, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge
ORDER RE TRIAL CONFIRMATION HEARING
Defendant Brooks' counsel contends that the trial scheduled to commence in this action on February 10, 2009, should be continued because his counsel told the Court at the status hearing held on July 11, 2008, that he "has a trial set in state court which will conflict with the current trial date in this matter." (Request That Trial Date be Vacated, filed January 14, 2009). However, a rough draft of the transcript from the July 11, 2008, status hearing does not support this assertion. That transcript shows Brooks' counsel, Mr. Samuels, stated: "I can represent to the Court that I am scheduled to be in a death penalty case from October through the end of January, so I think for continuity and preparation, the exclusion is appropriate for myself." The referenced exclusion concerned the Speedy Trial Act. Nothing in the record supports Brooks' counsel's assertions that I scheduled trial in this action when I knew it conflicted with another trial he had scheduled, and that he told me about the conflict.
The judicial system depends on lawyers, as officers of the court, to assist the court in its endeavor to schedule trials when lawyers are available for appearances. Therefore, absent an adequate showing why Mr. Samuels is unavailable for trial on February 10, it appears that the trial scheduled for February 10, 2009, should be confirmed at the trial confirmation hearing scheduled on January 23, 2009.
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