Friday, January 06, 2006

Jose Padilla, part II

Jose Padilla was in court again today. Here's what happened:

Magistrate Judge Barry Garber presided over the proceedings and asked Jose Padilla if he had an attorney. Mr. Padilla responded that "Andy Patel" was his lawyer. Judge Garber then proceeded to ask Patel about whether he was going to represent Padilla in this case. Patel said that he wasn't a member of the Florida Bar and thought it would be best if the Federal Defender's Office in Miami was lead counsel. Judge Garber thought that was a great idea and asked Chief Assistant Federal Defender Michael Caruso if his office would accept appointment, to which Caruso responded that he would "gladly accept" the appointment.

Judge Garber said he was going to appoint dual counsel, with the Miami Defender's office taking the lead and Patel to serve as co-counsel because he has been in the case since June 2002.

AUSA Stephanie Pell then told the Judge that there was a potential conflict with the Miami office accepting the appointment. Caruso said that his office has reviewed everything and that he could say "without equivocation" that there was no conflict. Garber took the matter up at sidebar and after conferring, he kept the Miami Defenders as lead counsel. While at sidebar, another Public Defender Tony Natale went up to Padilla and explained what was going on. Another defender, Orlando do Campo, was also present for the defense.

Judge Garber then asked the government what its position was on bail. AUSA Pell said that the government was asking for pretrial detention based on risk of flight and danger to the community, to which Judge Garber quipped: "Why am I not surprised?"*

Michael Caruso explained that they would need a continuance to prepare for the hearing, and Judge Garber rescheduled it for January 12th at 10AM. Garber also -- at Caruso's request -- moved the arraignment to that date. Garber said that because of the amount of time he has invested in the case that he would retain it for next week's hearing instead of transferring it to the duty magistrate judge. Judge Garber concluded the hearing by commending the parties for acting in the spirit of cooperation.

*Maybe I should've included J. Garber on the funniest SDFLA judge...

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