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Name: People v. Keshishian
Case #: B194821
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 04/24/2008

The trial court did not err when it refused appellant’s request to discharge retained counsel. On the day appellant’s murder case was called for trial, appellant requested a continuance to hire another lawyer, complaining that he had “lost confidence” in his retained counsel. The court denied appellant’s request, noting that the case had been pending for two and a half years due to defense requests for continuances, and the prosecution opposed the continuance citing the passage of time since the incident and problems with witnesses. Appellant argued on appeal that his request to discharge retained counsel was erroneously denied. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the trial court applied the right standard in rejecting appellant’s last-minute attempt to discharge counsel. Appellant was given an opportunity to address the court concerning his reasons, and stated only that he had “lost confidence.” This was not sufficient cause to justify the disruption which would have ensued.