In the matter of: STATE OF WASHINGTON, Plaintiff, No. C-534232

v. FORREST BISHOP, Defendant.)


MOTION HEARING October 21, 2004, Judge Chapman


MR. SCHULMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honor. For the record, Eric Schulman representing Forrest Bishop, who is present with me. Your Honor, it's my understanding -- and I don't want to speak for Mr. Bishop -- that he is moving to proceed pro se and I know he's filed a motion to do so and I guess I really can't comment much further regarding that. I think the Court has some documents, perhaps.

THE COURT: I don't have any documents in the file.

MR. SCHULMAN: : In any case, we would -- or Mr. Bishop would be moving to continue. I guess I would be moving to withdraw, and I think Mr. Bishop would like perhaps as much as two months. He may be acquiring new counsel or proceeding pro se beyond that but I don't know if Mr. Bishop would like to -

THE COURT: What's at issue here, Mr. Bishop?

MR. SCHULMAN: : Your Honor, I can offer this forward here.

THE COURT: That's fine, I don't expect you to comment on it, Counsel, but I need to hear from Mr. Bishop as to why this is necessary. Is this an issue of fees not being paid? Are you actively seeking to withdraw or are you simply being discharged by your client?

MR. SCHULMAN: : Mr. Bishop is just discharging me.


MR. BISHOP: There is a motion there that according to court rules I talk to the prosecutor first before filing. The prosecutor has to agree to the continuance, at least that's how I read it.

THE COURT: Don't know of any such procedure, Mr. Bishop.

MR. BISHOP: Uh-huh. It's in Washington Court Rules and online. I'm not sure if it applies in this court.

THE COURT: What rule are you speaking about? What's the number of the rule?

MR. BISHOP: Number of the rule is -- under continuances, local criminal rules (Inaudible).

THE COURT: There is a local criminal rule.

MR. BISHOP: Okay. The number of the rule is LCR LJ 323.

THE COURT: For King County?

MR. BISHOP: District Court rules.

THE COURT: For King County?

MR. BISHOP: Yes, sir. Well, for -- yes, sir.

THE COURT: Local court rules for King County. Which one are you speaking about?

MR. BISHOP: LCR -- LCR LJ 3.5. I'm looking at District Court rules.

THE COURT: Um-hum.

MR. BISHOP: If you have West, it's page 607.

THE COURT: Um-hum. I don't have a 3.5.

MR. BISHOP: 3.3, sir

(LONG PAUSE while Mr. Chapman reads page 607)

THE COURT: Um-hum. You certainly are entitled to make a motion to continue, there's no dispute about that. It's within my discretion. Why do you want to fire your counsel and proceed pro se?

MR. BISHOP: I wrote a four-page motion.

THE COURT: Well, I haven't received it yet. You can state it to me orally now in court.

MR. BISHOP: There's numerous questions of fact and questions of law and questions of process, which I am in the process of researching. I've done some part of it.

THE COURT: Have you had any legal training, Mr. Bishop?

MR. BISHOP: No, sir.

THE COURT: Why do you feel that you're more capable in that regard than your attorney?

MR. BISHOP: My attorney has done very well and he's done what he can. There's several things I'm not sure that he's aware of.

THE COURT: And you can't -- don't feel like you can discuss that with him?

MR. BISHOP: I've tried to before and one attorney can only put so much effort into one case. I've put a great deal of effort into this.

THE COURT: I'm still not convinced that I should allow you to fire your attorney and proceed pro se.

MR. BISHOP: I hired the attorney.

THE COURT: Um-hum.

MR. BISHOP: On my contract.

THE COURT: Um-hum.

MR. BISHOP: On my power of contract.

THE COURT: That's correct.

MR. BISHOP: And that's basically --

THE COURT: And I have some discretion as to whether or not I will allow your attorney to withdraw and not appear for you. If there's some real breakdown in confidence between you two, that's an issue. If you had a fee agreement that you can't live up to, that's an issue. I'm not hearing either of these things.

MR. BISHOP: You're not -- excuse me, say again?

THE COURT: I'm not hearing either of those things.

MR. BISHOP: The first one again?

THE COURT: If there's some breakdown of confidence between you two.

MR. BISHOP: There's a breakdown of confidence, sir.

THE COURT: But you're not telling me any real facts that justify my finding that.

MR. BISHOP: That justify your finding a breakdown in confidence?

THE COURT: Um-hum. Because I don't think you can represent yourself anywhere nearly as competently as your attorney could.

MR. BISHOP: There's a statutory challenge I'm preparing, for example. Again, as stated in the motion, they're numerous questions of law in effect. This is one of them. Okay? Specifically referring to -- one moment.

MR. SCHULMAN: : Your Honor, I can perhaps -- some of the allegations addressed in Mr. Bishop's affidavit to the Court -- perhaps there exists now a conflict of interest between further representing Mr. Bishop.

MR. BISHOP: RCW 46.20.308 was one.

THE COURT: Um-hum.

MR. BISHOP: I'll look them up in a moment if it isn't clear. And also the original, which is RCW 46-- what 61.502, I think it was?

THE COURT: That's the charge of driving under the influence.

MR. BISHOP: Right. Both of them have defects which I am in the process of preparing memorandum of law on that subject. That's one of the things I'm doing. There are more things that I'm doing and I really don't want to talk about them in front of the prosecutor.

THE COURT: Well, you -- the prosecutor will deserve at least a week's notice of your brief and all of your arguments before they have an opportunity to respond.

MR. BISHOP: Right.

THE COURT: That's part of the legal process.

MR. BISHOP: I understand that. I mean, I'll file -- I have -- this was filed at the last minute because it was a last-minute decision, this particular route.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. BISHOP: There are other evidence that I have moved to discover which I haven't gotten back yet which I'll need for my defense, again in that motion. And I think I can find a different counsel that will be more effective.

THE COURT: But you have not investigated that?

MR. BISHOP: Yes, sir, I have.

THE COURT: But you don't have anybody else?

MR. BISHOP: Diligently.

THE COURT: Nobody has agreed to appear for you today?

MR. BISHOP: It wasn't until today decided -- that I decided to do this, sir. There is nothing here that -- I mean, it's been a quandary for me on which way to approach this.

THE COURT: I don't even see your notice of appearance, Counsel.

MR. SCHULMAN: : That's an oversight, Your Honor. I did -- I had discovery from the Department of Licensing here and so .


MR. SCHULMAN: : I appeared at the arraignment with Mr. Bishop.

THE COURT: I'll allow you to withdraw.


THE COURT: You're free to go.

MR. SCHULMAN: : Okay. And I'll handle these.

THE COURT: And Mr. Bishop, if you'd like to waive your right to counsel, you have a constitutional right to do that and proceed on your own behalf. I would strongly encourage you not to. The conversation that we would have -- he's been discharged.

MR. BISHOP: Am I supposed to get the file?

MR. SCHULMAN: : I can give you discovery, what I have, and I'll do that.

MR. BISHOP: Sorry. I'm sorry.

THE COURT: Counsel?

MR. BISHOP: Counsel.

THE COURT: He's not entitled to discovery until I let him proceed pro se.


THE COURT: So if you want to provide discovery at that --

MR. SCHULMAN: : Actually, this is just discovery I got from the Department of Licensing so I'll provide that to him, which I represented him on as well.

THE COURT: All right. So you'll have to fill out the waiver of right to counsel form, Mr. Bishop, before I allow you to waive your rights to an attorney. If you truly want to hire another attorney, I would suggest you not go through the waiver process today. I will continue this matter for about 30 days, we'll come back then to talk about how you want to proceed in this case.

MR. BISHOP: Um-hum.

THE COURT: All right?

MR. BISHOP: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Then you'll need to waive your right to a speedy trial.

MR. BISHOP: That's fine.

THE COURT: Okay. There's a waiver form that the prosecutor can provide to you.


PROSECUTOR: I did give him that, Your Honor. I'd also indicated that I would prefer not to delay the next pretrial conference as long as he requested.

THE COURT: I have no intention of setting it for January 20. I would set it for 30 days from today and expect you at that point, Mr. Bishop, to be ready to proceed.

PROSECUTOR: Are we ready for the next matter?

THE COURT: Nope. Do you have that waiver form?

MR. SCHULMAN: : It's stuck in here somewhere, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Can you give him a new one?

PROSECUTOR: Certainly, Your Honor.

MR. BISHOP: Your Honor, I have a question. What does "time for trial commencement date" mean?

THE COURT: The rules for court provide that you must be brought to trial within 90 days of your arraignment date, otherwise the charges against you must be dismissed. And the commencement date is the date of your arraignment. If you want to continue this case, you have to set a date no earlier than today as the new commencement date, which means that you must be brought to trial within 90 days of today's date. You can set it for later, upon agreement and approval by the Court, but I'm not inclined to set it later than today's date.

MR. BISHOP: No, that's fine. Sir, you answered my question.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. BISHOP: That's great. I thought -- I was reading it to mean we're going to have a trial on --

THE COURT: That does not mean that. We'll set it for a new pretrial hearing.

MR. BISHOP: Within 90 days -- the trial?

THE COURT: The new pretrial hearing will be in about 30 days. All right. Did you date your signature?

MR. BISHOP: No, sir, I did not.

THE COURT: It's the 21st.

MR. BISHOP: She dated it.

THE COURT: I'm sorry?

MR. BISHOP: She dated it.

THE COURT: Okay. And just hand it forward to me after you've signed it. Do you have any other questions about what that waiver form means?

MR. BISHOP: No, sir.

THE COURT: Okay. Thank you.

MR. BISHOP: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: I'll put that in the file. And we'll see you back here in about 30 days. What do you mean by "without prejudice" next to your signature, sir?

MR. BISHOP: It means essentially without giving up any other rights.

THE COURT: Any other rights except for --

MR. BISHOP: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: -- your time for trial.

MR. BISHOP: Except for what I signed to, yes.

THE COURT: Right. All right. Please come forward, we'll give you a new trial date. If you are going to hire another attorney, please do so right away.

(Whereupon the proceedings concluded.)