A Gwinnett County judge must decide whether “an actual breakdown in the entire public defender system” has denied an accused murderer a speedy trial, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled today. District Attorney Danny Porter indicted Khanh Dinh Phan in 2005, but the state has never paid lawyers hired to represent him in the killing of a Lilburn man and his 2-year-old son.
The Georgia Supreme Court, for the second time in two months, has told the State Bar to get tougher with lawyers who break the rules. In a unanimous decision, the high court today rejected a reprimand for a lawyer who used falsified documents in a personal injury case. Justice David Nahmias, in a 17-page concurring opinion, picked apart Nerrylle Manning-Wallace’s account of her actions and the bar’s rationale for going along with a reprimand for her.
The Georgia Supreme Court today told the State Bar it was too easy on a lawyer who took $493,000 from his employer. The court rejected a six- to 12-month suspension for Michael J.C. Shaw. The Bar’s recommendation miffed Justice David Nahmias, who wrote that he believes most lawyers and “almost every citizen in this State would be equally disturbed by that concept of attorney discipline.”