Pubdate: Tue, 02 May 2000
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Auburn Journal
Contact:  1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Author: Jessica R. Towhey, Journal Staff Writer
Cited: Steve and Michele Kubby:
Bookmark: MAP's link to over a hundred articles about the Kubby case:

Roeder Denies Kubbys' Request For Continuance

After more than a year of bouncing around the Placer County courts
system, the high-profile marijuana case of Steven and Michele Kubby
will finally begin Thursday, presided over by Judge John Cosgrove, in
a modest DeWitt Center courtroom.

Before reassigning the case to Cosgrove Monday, Judge James Roeder
denied a defense motion for continuance and rebuked the Kubbys for
trying to further postpone a trial already fraught with delays.

"I thought the court was being very generous back on March 7," Roeder
said, referring to the date he allowed the Kubbys to fire their
original attorneys, which put off the trial for another six weeks.

"Memories fade as time goes by, and quite frankly, this file has a lot
of whiskers on it," he continued. "I'm disappointed and find it
unfortunate that apparently the Kubbys have not accurately represented
to counsel the court's comments of March 7."

The Kubbys were arrested Jan. 19, 1999, when the Placer County
Sheriff's Office raided their Tahoe home and confiscated 265 marijuana
plants as well as computerized financial records and computer
hardware. Last July, a visiting judge suspended the trial after
Michele Kubby developed complications with her pregnancy.

She gave birth in January and the trial was slated to begin in late
February. By the time Roeder allowed the Kubbys to fire their
attorneys in March, the case was already more than a year old.

Roeder read a section from the March 7 transcript in which he stated
no motions for a continuance would be granted and the Kubbys were to
inform their new attorneys of the instruction.

Tony Serra, a well-known San Francisco attorney who replaced Dale Wood
as counsel for Steven Kubby, was not in court Monday, having been
ordered to represent an in-custody client facing attempted murder
charges in San Jose. Carolyn Hagin, an associate with Serra's firm,
presented the motion Monday stating more time was needed to wade
through the more than 3,000 pages of discovery.

"The fact that a continuance is needed is no one's fault," she said.
"But the other lawyers did not file substantive motions in the case.
They may not have read the discovery. Basically, we've had to start

Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran, however, opposed the

"The last time we were here it was made abundantly clear we would
continue the trial today," he said. "We are here on the eve of trial
and it seems to be a little curious. We've been ready and we've been
telling the court that since February."

Under direct questioning from Roeder, Hagin admitted the Kubbys had
told the law firm the judge's instructions but may not have conveyed
the intensity of the warning.

An additional complication presented Monday was a challenge to
Roeder's ability to hear the case. According to rules of trial, the
prosecution and defense are given one opportunity each to remove a
judge from a case. Additionally, neither side has to give reasons why
it wants to remove a judge.

In the case of codefendants, the defense is given a second challenge
if it can be proven that separate defenses will be presented.

The defense challenged Judge Larry Gaddis in July and the prosecution
used their one strike to remove Judge Joe O'Flaherty as soon as he was
assigned to the case.

On Monday, Cattran opposed the defense's challenge since both Kubbys
claim to have grown and used marijuana as a medical remedy.

"The defense in this case is the Compassionate Use Act in the case of
both (defendants,)" he said.

Roeder disagreed, though, and assigned the case to Cosgrove. Because
of the reassignment, the case will be heard at the DeWitt Center
instead of in the Historic Placer County Courthouse.

Court will convene at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Department 10, 11546 B
Ave. in the DeWitt Center.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake