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Name: U.S. v. Lam
Case #: 99-10463
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/04/2001
Subsequent History: Rehg. den.; modif. without chg in jmt. on 8/22/01 at 262 F.3d 1033

Despite an over a fourteen-month delay from Lam’s arrest until the start of his trial, there was no violation of Lam’s right to a speedy trial. Although the long delay exceeded the threshold minimum beyond which prejudice is presumed and weighed in Lam’s favor, the reason for the delay was primarily the requests for continuances by defense counsel, which were granted despite Lam’s assertion of his speedy trial rights. Trial counsel presented vigorous and effective representation, and therefore the defendant’s speedy trial rights did not override his attorney’s assessment of the complexity of the case and the need to prepare. Therefore, Lam’s counsel’s actions were properly attributable to Lam. Finally, Lam could not credibly point to any specific damage to his defense stemming from the delay.