Thursday, January 18, 2007

AD4: defense counsel not entitled to a one-day adjournment to prepare summation

People v Martin, 2006 NY Slip Op 09769 [available here]

After the proofs closed on his client's trial on various counts of burglary, rape and sex abuse, defense counsel asked for a one-day adjournment to prepare his summation. Any regular defense practitioner can tell you how that went over--the request was denied, and defense counsel was told to prepare his summation over lunch. Defendant on appeal argued that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to grant the adjournment. The Fourth Department disagreed, noting that the trial court told defense counsel the day before to be prepared to sum up the next "afternoon", "and the record establishes that the court nevertheless adjourned the proceedings for an additional one-hour period after a nearly two-hour recess in order to permit defense counsel to complete his summation." (Martin, 2006 NY Slip Op 09769 [available here].)