Sunday, December 7, 2008

Menn's Petition to Withdraw as Conflict Counsel



The Petitioner by and through his counsel, Stephen A. Menn, Esquire, hereby requests his Court appointed counsel to be allowed to withdraw and avers as follows:

1. In January of 2007, Conflict Counsel was appointed by President Judge, which included Attorney Paul Galante as lead counsel in the Criminal murder case of the Defendant, Harlow Raymond Cuadra to assist in this case. This counsel agreed to assist Attorney Galante only to a minimal extent in the guilt phase but agreed to handle the death penalty phase of the case.

2. After being appointed to this case the Defendant, Harlow Raymond Cuadra, attempted to hire Private Counsel but the court refused to allow this representation based upon alleged conflict of interest. This decision remains on appeal.

3. In August of 2008, Attorney Paul Galante, the Defendant’s lead Attorney was dismissed from the case as a result of a conflict of interest between him and Counsel for the Attorney for the co Joseph Kerekes. As a result of this the Defendant was left with two (2) Attorneys not three (3) which had originally been appointed in this matter. Despite requests for the appointment of a third Attorney, no additional Attorney has been appointed to assist in this case.

4. Since August of 2008, due to the economic turndown and being a solo practitioner, this Attorney advised the President Judge that he would be unable to be out of his office for four to six weeks which is the anticipated time for Jury Selection, Trial and Penalty Phase. As a result, counsel resigned from the position of Conflict Counsel and asked for his cases to be reassigned to other Attorneys in the conflict pool.

5. This Attorney attempted to contact the Judge assigned to this case to advise him of Counsel’s resignation but was unable to speak to the Judge until on or about November 17, 200S.

6. The Defendant, Harlow Raymond Cuadra, has agreed that the appointment of a new Attorney to represent him in this case would be in his best interest and has agreed to sign a Wavier to his Rights to a speedy trial. This Counsel confirmed with Counsel for the Co-Defendant who also agreed to sign any Wavier necessary in the event his ease would need to be continued.

7. As a result of the this Counsel’s involvement being extended beyond what he understood the original appointment was to include, and being out of his private practice for an extended period of time would be a severe economic hardship and requests to be allowed to withdraw and new council from the conflict pool be appointed to represent the Defendant in this matter.

WHEREFORE, the Defendant, by and through his counsel, respectfully requests this Honorable Court issue an Order authorizing and allowing Stephen A. Menn, Esquire, to withdraw from further representation of the Defendant.

Respectfully Submitted,
Court-Appointed Counsel for Defendant,
Harlow Raymond Cuadra