May It Please The Court

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May It Please The Court
by Leonard Rivkin
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Quote of the Day - Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. - Mark Twain
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Should We Reconsider Case Management Conferences?

Court this morning was not interesting. Boring, in a word. And expensive. But it didn't have to be.

Unfortunately, it was.

Let's look at it this way. Years ago, cases in California used to take five years to get to trial, maybe more. The people revolted. The legislature reacted.

We got Fastrack.

Cases are now tried in an average of eighteen months or less. Most courts hope for less. In fact, most judges pretty much push the attorneys to get cases handled in just over a year.

And that's fine. Good for the people.

Not necessarily, however, good for the clients. Take, for example, a fellow attorney who drove two hours this morning to appear in Court for three minutes. For a case management conference. All that happened was that the Court found out a little (very little) about what was happening in the case, and then set a further status conference.

So the attorney could drive another two hours for three minutes in front of the judge. But you argue that the attorney could have appeared telephonically. Not in this court.

So the attorney gets to do it all over again, and the client gets to pay for it all over again. Four hours for three minutes. Indeed, I had the same experience myself, but I only had to drive 20 minutes each way.


Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, November 08, 2004 at 22:46 Comments (0)


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