United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
Roy Wilson UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 2017, the jury trial in this case was continued
because Defendant's lawyer, Mr. Kendrick, broke his
On November 20, 2017, eight days before trial, Defendant
filed a motion for a continuance, asserting that his lawyer
needed additional time to prepare for trial.The motion was
denied on November 21, 2017. Just over five hours later,
Defendant filed a Motion to Continue because his lawyer had
pneumonia. The motion was granted.
November 22, 2017, I raised the issue of the need for back-up
counsel in this case. Mr. Kendrick indicated that he
“would welcome co-counsel” after “giving
thought to the effect of [his] age and apparently declining
health may have on [his] client and [his] ability to properly
represent him in the upcoming trial.” He added that he
would “of course, cooperate fully with co-counsel if [I
were to] appoint one.”
response to Mr. Kendrick's email, I notified the parties
that I had retained a back-up judge in case I was unavailable
for the February 2018 trial. The Prosecution assured me that
it too had back-up. However, when I suggested again
that Mr. Kendrick or his client retain backup counsel, Mr.
Kendrick responded with the following:
I have discussed your indication of intent with my client. In
addition, I have sought personal legal counsel since you do
indicate intent to take action against me personally.
My client continues to maintain, as I have stated before,
that he does not have the financial ability to employ
additional counsel. I also asked him if he was satisfied with
me as his counsel and he stated that he was.
Your Honor, I don't know whether it is proper for me so
say or not, but I would show the court that if my client has
resources, I would seek to have them apply to the sizeable
balance which he owes me.
I also show the court that any attempt to charge me with
payment for my client's co-counsel will have a number of
negative effects, among which are:
1. It would constitute an unlawful taking of my property and
2. It would create a conflict of interest between me and my
In any event, I continue to announce ready for trial on
February 20, 2018.
December 19, 2017, I directed Mr. Kendrick to have his client
fill out an in forma pauperis form so that
I could appoint back-up counsel. Two weeks later, when no
in forma pauperis application had been
filed, I followed up with Mr. Kendrick. He responded:
My client stated that he did not believe that a lawyer new to
the case could become adequately prepared to represent him ...