For those out there that want no special treatment given to Falcons QB Michael Vick when it comes to being in front of a judge, it appears you are going to get your wish. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson will be hearing the case on Vick, and according to sources he is not one to be impressed by someone like Vick’s celebrity status or loads of cash that will secure him some of the best lawyers in the country.
“Trial lawyers love to appear in his court because he lets the lawyers try their case,” defense attorney and former prosecutor William J. Dinkin of Richmond told the Associated Press. “Everyone is going to get their fair shake. He’s a very evenhanded trial judge.” Hudson is reportedly known for handing down stiff sentences and letting the lawyers present their cases in a fair manner. “He’s straight forward, a straight shooter,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “You don’t get any special perks because of who you are, and you don’t get punished because you aren’t somebody who is a public figure.”
Vick will be in court for the first time on July 26th, and he and three others will enter pleas to charges that include competitive dog fighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting, and conducting the enterprise across state lines. The two felony charges could bring the four men up to six years in prison and fines of up to $350,000 and restitution. The date for Vick’s first appearance in court is also the first day that the Falcons will take the field for practice in training camp.
Another much talked about subject in the case is the fact that many say Virginia courts move cases such as this along very fast. Richmond, where the case is being held, has become known as the “rocket docket” for getting cases handled fast, meaning that Vick may very well be in a courtroom during the upcoming Falcons 2007 season. “Virginia courts, both state and federal, are generally very businesslike in the way they run their dockets,” defense lawyer Craig W. Sampson told AP.