The opinion of the court was delivered by: C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge
All pretrial motions in this case have been referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) for disposition or report and recommendation regarding disposition by the District Court as may be appropriate. This case came before the Court on March 16, 2012, for a motion hearing on Defendant Wright's Motion to Continue Trial Date and to Extend Deadline for Filing Pretrial Motions [Doc. 129], filed on February 28, 2012, and Defendant Tamral Guzman's Motion to Continue Trial Date and to Extend Deadline for Filing Pretrial Motions [Doc. 130], filed on March 14, 2012. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexandra Hui and Frank M. Dale, Jr., appeared on behalf of the Government. Attorney Michael B. Menefee was present representing Defendant Guzman. Attorney Michael H. Meares was present representing Defendant Wright. Both Defendants were also present.
Defendant Wright asks the Court to continue the April 24, 2012 trial date because she has experienced some financial reversals and has had to file for bankruptcy in February 2012. Her financial difficulties have affected her ability to pay for expert witnesses, service of subpoenas, and other trial preparation expenses. At the hearing, Attorney Meares related that Defendant Wright's present financial situation would require her to pursue less expensive but more time-intensive avenues of preparation. Mr. Meares also argued that additional time was needed for the Defendant to receive rulings on pending motions, some of which would affect the defense. Finally, Mr. Meares stated that his recent involvement in another federal case had prevented him from spending as much time on this case and that he needed additional time to complete trial preparations.
Defendant Guzman also requests a trial continuance, stating that counsel needs additional time to review voluminous discovery related to the structuring counts added in the Third Superseding Indictment [Doc. 103]. Attorney Menefee stated that the complexity of the issues required him to review the discovery with an accountant. He also stated that he was recently able to access encrypted electronic discovery, with the aid of the government attorneys and a computer expert, and needed additional time to complete his review of these materials.
Finally, the Government joined in the request for a continuance due to a change in counsel. AUSA Hui stated that she would be leaving the Eastern District and that AUSA Jennifer Kolman would be taking her place. She stated that AUSA Kolman would need time to familiarize herself with the case and to assist AUSA Dale with trial preparation. The parties agreed to a new trial date of August 14, 2012.
The Court finds the motions to continue the April 24, 2012 trial date to be well-taken and that the ends of justice served by granting a continuance outweigh the interest of the Defendants and the public in a speedy trial. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A). First, the Court observes that on November 1, 2011, the Government filed a Third Superseding Indictment, adding fifty-four new counts against Defendant Guzman and extending the length of the conspiracy and changing language in Count 1, which charges both Defendants. Defendant Guzman's counsel needs time to complete his review of this discovery relating to these new counts and to prepare for trial. Additionally, Defendant Wright needs additional time to prepare the case for trial with reduced financial ...