Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The New Jersey Supreme Court has affirmed an Appellate Division order of a new trial to a defendant who learned on the morning of his trial that his public defender lead counsel would likely be deployed overseas during the trial.
The defendant expressed discomfort with second-chair counsel taking over the case. He was concerned about the prospect of "changing attorneys midstream" and sought an adjournment to retain new counsel.
The request was summarily denied and the defendant was convicted.
The court here concluded that, while the trial court had discretion, the summary denial required a new trial. (Mike Frisch)