Judge Robert Adamson continues to push both sides in the Wilbros civil case to reach a settlement without the case going to trial.
The judge met with attorneys for both sides at a pre-trial conference Tuesday in Stephens County Superior Court.
Stephens County, the city of Toccoa, the Stephens County School System, and the Concerned Citizens of Toccoa-Stephens County group are suing Wilbros and associated defendants over the odor coming from the Wilbros facility on Rose Lane in Stephens County.
Calling himself an eternal optimist, Judge Adamson said he believes a settlement is more productive than litigation, especially in a case such as this.
To help the two sides try to reach a settlement, Judge Adamson ordered attorneys and experts for both sides to meet in the next ten days.
If no settlement is reached, Judge Adamson has set the trial date for May 21 in Stephens County Superior Court.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Wilbros’ attorney Steven Gilliam raised concerns about seating a jury, saying he felt they would have trouble doing so in Stephens County considering the attention the case has received.
Gilliam also raised a number of legal questions regarding the claims of trespass, negligence per se, and nuisance made by the plantiffs in their case. The plaintiff’s attorney, Don Stack, disputed a number of Gilliam’s arguments.
Judge Adamson and the attorneys agreed to a jury selection process that will be used to try and seat a jury and alternates.
Meanwhile, the judge ordered both sides to file briefs with him regarding the issues raised by Gilliam and any other issues the two sides may have regarding the trial.
Judge Adamson ordered all pre-trial briefs to be filed by May 17, with May 20 set aside for the parties to deal with any other loose ends that need to be dealt with prior to trial.