Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Legal News of Note

Posted by Maggie on September 17, 2007

More motions in the Brian Nichols case today. GPDSC has filed motions to lower defense counsel’s pay rates. Prosecutors have also filed motions. One requests that defense counsel and GPDSC be ordered to stop talking about the cost of the case. Another wants the defense to set out a budget of anticipated costs for the remainder of the case. Update: According to Nichols’ attorneys filed a motion yesterday saying the state has no money to pay them, thus the death penalty should be taken off the table. Looks like yet again the GPDSC and the client are at odds. I’ll update again when we hear the outcome.

I suppose prosecutors feel like the Nichols case is being used to draw attention to the negative effects of the death penalty. But I think it’s certainly a big issue. And just shutting their mouths won’t do much. Most of the talk has come from outside GPDSC. It also seems like setting an anticipated budget may be a near impossibility with the craziness that comes with a trial.

Also, Channel 11 News will be following up on the realtor murder case from Cobb County that’s been transferred down to Glynn County in Southeast Georgia. Jury selection started last week and trial is expected to begin today. Glad to see we’ve got one media outlet on it since the others don’t seem to be paying attention.

Also a follow-up on the Piedmont Circuit DA’s Office which recently lost their boss to criminal charges, got a new one, and now is having a big turnover problem. Worse, the new DA forced 3 office members to resign though they’d all been cleared of any wrongdoing. One ADA who voluntarily resigned wrote in his resignation letter:

Mr. Bridgeman took these actions within hours of being sworn into his new role and clearly made these decisions without proper due diligence and without any consideration of how these changes would impact both the morale of the office and the ability of the remaining staff to do their jobs effectively just 10 days before a trial week in which 71 cases were to be prosecuted[.]

The DA’s office comments that it’s already hired one replacement. This of course ignores the fact that the three forced out had 50 years experience between them. Unlikely they’ll get anything more than new grads.


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