It has been widely reported that accused wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan would be seeking new counsel to represent him in the criminal case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. It appears that Jerome Mooney of the Los Angeles law firm Weston, Garrou & Mooney will now be representing Mr. Kurniawan.
In a July 29, 2013 letter to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, Mr. Mooney requested that he be allowed to appear telephonically on Mr. Kurniawan’s behalf at a hearing scheduled for July 31, 2013. Judge Berman denied the request, stating, “Application respectfully denied. (Enough is enough).” You can view a copy of the letter and Judge Berman’s response through this link: Letter from New Counsel for Kurniawan.
In other developments, federal prosecutors sent a letter to Judge Berman on July 22 arguing that the court should deny any request from Mr. Kurniawan for a continuance of the September 9, 2013 trial date. In that letter, the government argued, “The Court should not adjourn the trial date because Kurniawan has failed to retain new counsel in a timely manner.” The prosecutors also disclosed that during a July 18 conference, prospective substitute counsel for Kurniawan (including Mr. Mooney) “informed the Court that [they] will seek to substitute as counsel for Kurniawan, provided that Kurniawan’s family is able to fund his defense.” That letter is available here: Letter from AUSA to Judge Berman