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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
GOVERNMENTS REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO EXPEDITE
Defendant-appellee Alphonso Michael Espy opposes the Governments motion to expedite on two grounds: that the proposed schedule affords an inadequate amount of time, and that he hopes that his trial in the district court will not commence as scheduled. Neither of these arguments undermines the sound reasons for granting the motion.
With regard to the schedule, the court should be aware that the Government is filing and serving its opening appellants brief on January 16, 1998. Since appellee cannot complain regarding any shortening of time for the reply brief, his only complaint is that the proposed schedule would allow him 15 days instead of the usual 30 days to file his brief. However, in the present appeal, that time is more than adequate, and his opposition to the motion to expedite does not suggest any reason for concluding otherwise.
This appeal, after all, concerns only the legal question of how two statutes are to be interpreted, and no factual questions at all. There is no trial to be reviewed for error, no testimony to be summarized, no exhibits to be marshaled; no evidence at all to be considered. The legal points are important but not unduly complex; the parties briefed them to the district court in November and December of last year. It strains credulity for appellee to suggest that he cannot rebrief them to this court in 15 days.
Espy also suggests that an expedited schedule will not give this court adequate time for . . . careful consideration of the issues. Opposition at p.3. In proposing in its suggested timetable that oral argument be held as soon as practicable after Appellants brief is filed, the Government trusted to this courts judgment to allow the time required for proper consideration of this case. Appellee can ask for no more than that.
Nor does the fact that Espy might intend to ask the district court to reconsider some of its rulings argue against expediting this appeal. Both the charges that remain before the district court and those that are now before this court should be tried as promptly as possible. This can only happen if this appeal is resolved as soon as is feasible.
Date: January 16, 1998 Respectfully submitted,
OFFICE OF INDEPENDENT COUNSEL
In Re Alphonso Michael (Mike) Espy
Donald C. Smaltz, Independent Counsel
California Bar No. 37312
Charles M. Kagay, Chief Appellate Counsel
California Bar No. 73377
103 Oronoco Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone: (703) 706-0010
Fax: (703) 706-0076
In a footnote, appellant chides the Independent Counsel for taking three years to indict him, apparently trying to suggest that the Government has been lackadaisical in bringing him to justice. Opposition at p.3, n.1. In fact, in that time period the Independent Counsel has obtained 5 convictions at trial, 8 pleas, and one civil settlement on the long road to prosecuting the Secretary of Agriculture, the principal subject of the investigation.