Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Today’s Nichols Update

Posted by Maggie on March 5, 2008

It’s shaping up to be a massive day for legal news in Georgia, so I’m going to start off with my ongoing Nichols coverage. A hearing was held last week, another was held Tuesday morning, and another is set for tomorrow. Looks like Judge Bodiford is sincere in his efforts to move the case forward.

Yesterday’s hearing sounds like a version of the hokey-pokey. Let the media come in. Kick the media out. Bring the media back in. Take them out again. Several times the media were excluded from arguments on various issues. A few main issues were addressed.

First, the release of records regarding defense funding to the public. It appears Bodiford has agreed to release at least some documents over defense counsel’s opposition. They’ve been given 15 days to appeal the judge’s ruling and a temporary stay is in effect until that time expires.

Second is GPDSC’s request to remove one member of Nichols’ defense team to cut costs. They’ve proposed this for a little while now. Judge Bodiford promised a ruling on Thursday, though he made it clear he’d prefer for that to be worked out privately between defense counsel and GPDSC. GPDSC claimed that 4 attorneys was more than enough. This, of course, ignores the fact that there are 5 DA’s on the case.

Finally, Judge Bodiford asked each side to make up a list of motions that need to be considered. Among these appears to be the possibility of finding another location for the trial. The article notes that the defense opposes a change of venue that would use a non-Fulton jury. I understand their rationale. Despite how close to home the case comes, they’ll likely get a more sympathetic jury in Fulton than elsewhere in the state. No one’s mentioned a possibility for the new location.

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