A magistrate judge said the defence and prosecution were "engaging in discussions concerning a possible disposition", indicating a plea bargain in which Madoff would plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence.
Such extensions are sometimes repeated numerous times and even if there is no bargain, an actual trial is unlikely to start until late this year at the earliest, lawyers say.
So while prosecutors believe they have an open-shut case against Madoff - who allegedly confessed to scamming investors for decades in a so-called Ponzi scheme - he may be able to drag out proceedings and remain in his luxury home for the foreseeable future.
Albert said outrage from victims of Madoff's alleged swindle put "intense public scrutiny" on prosecutors.
However, "for a trial to start six months from now would be ambitious. I'd be surprised".
In medieval Europe, the nobility could not be charged with crimes. Indeed Erzsébet Báthory got away with all the murders she committed (about 600 young women) simply because as a member of the nobility she was above arrest. It took a special act of Parliament to revoke this immunity followed by her arrest by Emperor Matthias II to end her crimes ... for which she was sentenced to live in her castle!
And here we have the same thing all over again; a member of the economic "nobility", a record setting crime, and a sentance to remain in their own home.
"All men are created equal?" Not in the United States of America. Certain types of men are more equal than others!