Reporting with Natasha Korecki
Closing arguments will start Monday morning and will likely conclude by the end of that day, Judge James Zagel and both teams of attorneys have decided.
First up will be Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Niewoehner, who will give a 2 - 2-1/2-hour summary closing argument.
Michael Ettinger will then give a one-hour closing for defendant Robert Blagojevich, and the fiery Sam Adam Jr. will close for Rod Blagojevich. Knowing Adam Jr.'s tendency toward long-windedness, the judge asked how long he planned to take.
Adam Jr. is not in the courtroom today -- neither are the defendants, for that matter -- so Aaron Goldstein answered for him.
"We're looking at the ballpark of 2-1/2 hours," Goldstein said.
"You sure it's that small a period of time?" Zagel said, prompting laughter in the court.
"If your honor would like more, we certainly could accommodate you," Goldstein quipped.
Closing for the ex-governor will be followed by a rebuttal by Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar.
Judge Zagel has released the lawyers. Attorneys will be back tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to talk about jury instructions; later today at 2 p.m. will be a hearing about challenges to Zagel's ruling to keep jurors' names confidential.