Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Nichols Responses

Posted by Maggie on November 9, 2007

The Daily Report seems to be the venue for hashing out the Nichols case. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Daily Report is a daily legal paper covering mostly Fulton County and metro Atlanta. I have my issues with the paper. It’s oriented almost completely towards big firms, ignoring the countless attorneys in the city working in small firms or government practice. (For example, today’s enlightening article on how not to be boring at firm parties and regular reviews of overpriced foreign luxury cars.)

Earlier this week there were several letters to the editor and today there’s one in defense of Judge Fuller with 69 people signing their names in support.

As far as the DA’s motion to oust Fuller, the Judge will not reply.  There have been concerns that a response may effect his ability to remain impartial in the case.  In response to this, the DA thinks the Supreme Court should simply grant their motion since Fuller hasn’t responded.  Great idea.  Stick the Judge between a rock and a hard place and declare victory. 

There’s also an article on defense counsel’s response to the DA’s emergency motion against Judge Fuller. I haven’t seen the motion, but more details are given here and it really doesn’t make the DA look good. They claim they’re doing this because they want to have the trial as quickly as possible. Yet their requests include replacing the Judge and replacing the defense attorneys. Because putting new attorneys in on a 54-count indictment with a case that’s been going on for nearly 3 years is a great idea. They’ll just start off running and be ready to go to trial right away.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would imagine that new lawyers and a new judge would actually create more delays. New lawyers would have new motions, they’d have to go through mountains of evidence and discovery, they’d have to establish a new rapport with the defendant.

Defense counsel had this to say:

[The motion] is nothing more than a blatant effort to discharge a judge whose rulings and management of an ongoing criminal proceeding he dislikes, and to remove a defendant’s attorneys whose insistence on adequate funding for the defense function he cannot countenance.

They specifically ask the Supreme Court to chasten the DA for “abus[ing] the orderly processes of justice” and I agree. The DA has effectively put the case at a standstill. The Judge couldn’t go forward with a trial even if he wanted to. I certainly hope the Court chooses not to step in.

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