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United States of America v. Martha F. Guerra

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 11, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARTHA F. GUERRA, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

This matter is set for a trial to commence on July 15, 2011, before the undersigned. On July 8, 2011, at approximately 5:01 p.m., a motion for a continuance of the trial date in this matter was filed by attorneys from the Law Office of Bowman and Associates-David P. Foos and Sean Gavin-who intend to represent defendant if the court grants the continuance. (Mot. for Continuance, Dkt. No. 29.)

As an initial matter, the undersigned notes that the motion is noticed for two different hearing dates. The caption reflects that the motion is noticed for a hearing date of July 18, 2011. (Mot. for Continuance at 1:17.) However, the text of the motion notices the hearing for July 15, 2011, which is the first day of trial. (Id. at 1:22-25.) Of more concern is the apparent unavailability of defendant's proposed new counsel for a hearing on the motion for a continuance, which the undersigned will hold on July 12, 2011. On July 11, 2011, the court contacted all counsel to notify them of the July 12, 2011 hearing. Although defendant's current counsel and the government's counsel expressed their intention to appear at the hearing, an assistant to Mr. Gavin informed the court that Mr. Gavin is unavailable on July 12, 2011, and would not be available for a hearing until Tuesday, July 19, 2011.*fn1 Despite that representation, Mr. Gavin noticed his motion for two dates that predate July 19, 2011. All of this is confusing and concerning. In any event, the court will hold a hearing on the motion for a continuance on July 12, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. Proposed new counsel- whether it is Mr. Gavin, Mr. Foos, or some other attorney in the Law Office of Bowman and Associates who has authority to actually try this case on defendant's behalf-shall appear at the July 12, 2011 hearing.

Finally, the court is concerned that the motion for a continuance contains a material misrepresentation. The motion represents that existing counsel for defendant and the government's counsel "have no objection to [the] request for a continuance." (Mot. for Continuance ¶ 8.) In contacting existing counsel to arrange the July 12, 2011 hearing on this motion, the court was advised that, contrary to Mr. Gavin's representation, the government objects to the motion and intends to express its objections at the hearing.

In light of the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. A hearing on defendant's motion for a continuance of the trial date is set for July 12, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., in Courtroom 25.

2. Proposed new counsel for defendant shall appear at the hearing in person. Mr. Gavin, Mr. Foos, or some other attorney in the Law Office of Bowman and Associates who has authority to actually try this case on defendant's behalf, shall appear on defendants behalf. Failure to appear on the part of proposed new counsel will result in the imposition of sanctions on Mr. Gavin, Mr. Foos, or some other attorney in the Law Office of Bowman and Associates.

3. Defendant shall appear at the July 12, 2011 hearing. IT IS SO ORDERED.


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