United states court of appeals for the ninth circuit united states of america, P

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On November 29, 2001, four days before trial was set to begin, Prime filed a motion to substitute counsel, which the district court granted. The trial was continued to accommo date the newly-appointed counsel, Lee Covell (“Covell”), and after an additional stipulated continuance, was set for May 20, 2002. On May 9, 2002, at Prime’s request, Covell filed an ex parte motion to withdraw and substitute counsel. The following day the court held a closed-court inquiry without the prosecution to address this request. After hearing from both Prime and Covell, the court denied the motion. Four days before trial, Prime filed yet another motion for substitution of counsel. On the morning of trial, just before the proceedings were set to begin, John Rosellini (“Rosellini”), Prime’s privately retained attorney, appeared before the court requesting, pursuant to this motion, that he be substituted as counsel on the condition that a 120-day continuance be granted. The court denied this motion as well. Prime appeals the denial of both motions to substitute counsel.

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