For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 8

The Commonwealth must also act with diligence
in handing over requested discovery. If the
Commonwealth hands over requested discovery
at the last minute and the defendant needs a
continuance to review that discovery, that time runs
against the Commonwealth.22
When a case has possible Rule 600 problems,
"prosecutors must do everything reasonable
within their power to see that the case is tried on
time."23 "At a minimum, this well-settled precept
requires that, when faced with a court seeking to
set a trial date beyond the Rule 600 deadline, the
Commonwealth must demonstrate that it has acted
with due diligence and must inform the court that
the date being contemplated would violate the
Rule."24 The defendant, conversely, has no duty to
object to a trial date scheduled beyond the Rule
600 period, so long as he does not indicate that he
approves of or accepts the delay.25 If a particular
judge cannot schedule a trial for many months after
the mechanical run date due to a full calendar, the
Commonwealth may be required to ask for the case
to be transferred to a different judge.26

8

For The Defense

l

Vol. 4, Issue 4

Burden of Proof
The Commonwealth bears the burden of
demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence
that it has exercised due diligence.27 This has a few
sometimes overlooked implications. At a 600 hearing,
the Commonwealth must present evidence of record
to prove its diligence. Unsworn representations of
counsel do not meet this burden.28 Moreover, if the
Commonwealth earlier failed to put critical requests
on the record (such as a request for the earliest
possible trial date), it cannot meet its burden at a
later Rule 600 hearing.29

Best Practices
Understanding the legal doctrine of Rule 600 is
important, but sometimes practitioners just need
practical, concrete advice. The following seeks to
provide that.
*	 When you, as counsel, ask for a defense
continuance and you agree to the time being
attributed to your client, you are essentially
waiving your client's speedy trial guarantee.


http://www.cjtlaw.org http://www.hbklein.com

For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 6
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 7
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 8
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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 58
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