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Friday, June 20, 2008

In defense of

Herbert Adams

To the editor:

This open letter is in response to the nonsensical letter by Loletha Denise Hale on June 17, 2008.

First and foremost, your readers should know that Ms. Hale is resentful because she was expelled from the Clayton County Indigent Defense list of attorneys who receive appointments to represent poor defendants charged with crime.

Herbert Adams is one of three members on the Indigent Defense Governing Committee, and the Committee unanimously -- and rightly -- voted to remove Ms. Hale from the appointment list.

Ms. Hale is profane, rude and unprofessional. On two separate occasions, two different chief judges of the Clayton County Superior Court, after a full hearing, held her in contempt of court. One chief judge had her physically taken into custody.

Instead of accepting responsibility for her actions, she set out to blame and defame the opposing lawyer and sent out a shamefully inaccurate, dishonest and scandalous e-mail to our colleagues around the state attacking the opposing lawyer's character -- the exact same thing she is trying to do to Judge Adams.

Ms. Hale is also a supporter of D.A. Jewel Scott's campaign. From their latest efforts, it is clear that Jewel and Lee Scott are Ms. Hale's newest playmates in the "dirt and ditches." While it is apparent that Ms. Hale's attacks against Judge Adams -- the challenger to Ms. Scott -- are at least, to some degree, politically motivated, it is regrettable that a newspaper would even print them.

Herbert Adams has no time for such games. We believe he will be a man about the business of this county. He is honest and experienced. We believe he will work to clear the back log of cases and remove political influence from the D.A.'s office.

Unlike Ms. Hale, who could not win any election, Judge Adams has been elected twice by his peers in the Clayton County Bar Association to serve on the Governing Committee. (Incidentally, candidates supported by Ms. Hale were defeated soundly by Judge Adams.) That is because he was asked, and he accepted the responsibility, to lead the effort to save indigent defense.

He never claimed to be the "only" leader, but everyone knowledgeable about the matter knows he was in the forefront. As for Ms. Hale's claim that she "led the most recent efforts," that is patently false. She hasn't led anything.

Furthermore, because of his proven leadership, Judge Adams has been appointed twice by the Mayor and City Council of Forest Park to serve as judge on the Forest Park Municipal Court. Most recently, he was appointed by the Clayton County Board of Commissioners to serve on the Housing Authority Board.

He has coached the Lovejoy High School mock trial team for a number of years. And he has given free representation to the Clayton Students Coalition in challenging the School Board over the accreditation issue.

Judge Adams should not dignify Ms. Hale's shameful attacks with a response. However, we felt compelled to respond to her malicious lies against a good and decent man. As criminal defense lawyers in Clayton County, we "apologize" to your readers that the behavior of Ms. Hale could ever be associated with that of being an attorney at law.

LEE SMITH,

GARY B. ANDREWS

Attorneys

Jonesboro