The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Lawrence J. O'Neill
BENJAMIN B. WAGNER United States Attorney BRIAN W. ENOS Assistant United States Attorney United States Courthouse 2500 Tulare Street, Suite 4401 Fresno, California 93721 Telephone: (559) 497-4000 Facsimile: (559) 497-4099 Attorneys for the United States of America
STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE AND CHANGE PREVIOUSLY SET MARCH 13, 2012 TRIAL DATE TO CHANGE OF PLEA HEARING OR TRIAL CONFIRMATION HEARING; ORDER
(NOTE DATE CHANGES)
Date: N/A Time: N/A Defendants. ) Ctrm: 4
On October 14, 2011, defendant in this action moved to continue its previously set November 7, 2011 trial date to March 6, 2012. Doc. 23. Defendant based his motion due to health concerns relating to defense counsel and in need of prompt medical attention. Docs. 21 and 22. After hearing argument (which counsel for the government did not oppose), the court granted defendant's motion, and continued the trial to March 6, 2012. Doc. 23.
This continuance date was based on argument and supporting documentation contemplating defense counsel's anticipated recovery to occur by late-January 2012. Time was excluded through the new trial date. Doc. 23. On October 25, 2011, the court moved the trial date one week, or until March 13, 2012. Doc. 26.
Since this time, defense counsel has learned from his physician that he will remain "temporarily totally disabled ... until: February 24, 2012", a month longer than originally anticipated. Exhibit "A".
In light of defense counsel remaining "totally disabled" longer than first anticipated, THE PARTIES HEREBY STIPULATE , through their respective attorneys of record, that the start of this action's trial be continued from Tuesday, March 13, 2012 to a date in April or May 2012. Specifically, the parties understand that the court's calendar may best accommodate a continued trial date of May 30, 2012. If the court instead believes a continuance to April is most warranted, counsel would also be available on April 24, 2012.
The parties base this stipulation on good cause, and in a variety of respects. First, prior to defense counsel going on medical leave, the parties extensively worked on resolving this case, despite its containing case-specific 18 U.S.C. § 3553 issues requiring significant client contact and finesse. In fact, last October the parties came close to a global resolution. If the trial date were not moved, both counsel and agents for the government would need to spend significant time and other resources working the case up for trial without being able to also further negotiate a resolution. This would potentially lead to a waste of ever-diminishing resources available both to government counsel and relevant agencies. *fn1
Second, since the continuance would essentially correspond only to defense counsel's unexpected additional recovery time, it would result in no unnecessary delay to either party or the court. Third, the above requested continuance dates neither are set so far out as to diminish any momentum in resolving this case, or so close as to significantly risk the parties having to seek yet another continuance if defense counsel fails to sufficiently heal by February 24, 2012. In light of this, the parties further agree to change this action's previous trial date, March 13, 2012, to a court appearance designed either to set a change of plea hearing, or alternatively address trial confirmation issues, depending on the extent their prior case resolution efforts ultimately prove successful.
Any delay resulting from this continuance shall be excluded in the interests of justice, and the ends of justice in endorsing this stipulation through formal order outweigh the interests of defendants and the public in a speedy trial. See 18 U.S.C. 3161(h)(7)(A) and 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii).
The trial date of March 13, 2012 is vacated.
The new trial date is May 30, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. and will ...