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Letter:  John Hatfield to ADA Richard Panosh, scheduled vacations



October 30, 1997

Mr. R. E. Panosh
Assistant District Attorney

P. 0. Box 10769
Greensboro, NC 27404

Re: Kimble

Dear Mr. Panosh:

Your disingenuous comments to David Lloyd about my alleged "unscheduled vacations" reveal your anxiety about quality of life issues for lawyers.

The 18th Judicial District Vacation Policy was adopted after the executive boards of both the High Point and Greensboro bars unanimously recommended it.

The policy states: "That each attorney practicing in the 18th Judicial District may designate such times either consecutively or at intervals 90 days or more in advance of such vacation periods unless a trial or other matter has already been set by a presiding judge."

On October 21, 1997 I designated February 6, 9 and 10, 1998 and March 19 and 20, 1998, for vacation time. The airline tickets were purchased in July and August, 1997 and cash deposits have been paid for the rooms.

On May 15, 1997, in a detailed article about the Kimble cases in the Greensboro News & Record, this line appeared: "The Kimbles likely will be tried separately. The trials are probably at least a year away, officials said."

Mr. R. E. Panosh

Page Two
October 30, 1997

I do not know whether you were one of the officials quoted but I have been assured that neither Detective Jim Church nor Sheriff Barnes told the newspaper anything about when the cases would be tried.

All four defense attorneys in the Kimble cases agree that neither of the cases should be scheduled for trial before May, 1998, because of the need for extensive review and investigation of the facts, forensic and psychological analysis and preparation of witnesses.

The four defense attorneys have resolved to treat you and your law enforcement officers with courtesy and respect. We would like to prepare our respective cases without unnecessary motions practice and we would like to share input with the D.A.'s office on the choice of a trial judge and when the cases will be tried.

Death penalty cases impose a heavy burden on each of the lawyers involved. We realize that your job is just as difficult as ours, perhaps more difficult. We understand that Patricia Kimble's family are entitled to a vigorous prosecution just as much as the families of the defendants expect a vigorous defense.

Whatever the outcome of these cases, either Patricia's family or the families of the defendants are going to be disappointed. It will be better for all concerned if discovery and scheduling are done fairly, and if those affected feel that the process has been fair.

You and I continue to have our differences but I can assure you that I have personally resolved to do all I can to make sure that this case is handled professionally and competently.

Very truly yours,



John B. Hatfield, Jr.






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