Wednesday, June 14, 2006

June's Litigation Rantin' and Ravin'

After several days of depositions and Court matters, thought I would comment on the sorry state of lawyer civility:

Motion Practice: I have set Motions as many others have, and typically (always) when it is a Motion I have filed, logic would suggest that I speak to the Motion first when a Hearing begins. You would too, I surmise. You'd be wrong.

I am seeing a disturbing trend among defense counsel. When the Judge calls the matter to be heard, Defense counsel immediately begins talking/dissecting the Motion before "the Movant" (yours truly) can utter a word. The primary culprit in these shenanigans tends to fit this profile: 1)Male; 2)Over 40 and typically older than 55; 3)Loaded up with grey hair or alternatively no hair; 4)Bad suit; 5)Two other associates sitting with said counsel and 6)Almost always from a firm with more than 50 attorneys.

Finally a Judge told opposing counsel to "pipe down" until I had a chance to discuss the matter with the Court, or "at least tell me who he is."

I clerked for a US District Court Judge, and I can assure you that this does not happen in Federal Court, at least more than once. I see it happening more rather than less. I am not sure how to correct it, other than to ignore it.

Short Deadlines: More and more often, I receive letters - these typically are authored by younger/less experienced litigators on the defense side - that ask me to respond to some type of request, give me forty eight ("48" being typed next to it in parens), and suggest that if I do not object in writing in or to that time frame, the acton will be taken by defense counsel or agreed to by me. Yesterday I simply scrawled "I object" on the letter and sent it back via FAX, after leaving a message on VM.

FAX transmissions of more than twenty pages. Yes, I still get these - do you? The worst offender is an in town Firm that has sent a telecopier transmission of more than forty eight (48) pages. The Firm is five miles away.

What drives you crazy?