Monday, January 14, 2008

one minute late . . .

A motion filed late by one minute may cost a client payment of attorney's fees of potentially $1 million. The excuse? Traffic.

As reported in the January 9 Wall Street Journal, the courier service had 45 minutes to get to the courthouse and arrived at 4:01 p.m.--one minute late. According to the lawyers filing the papers, 45 minutes had always been sufficient--until that day's traffic proved otherwise.

According to the judge, "These circumstances, however regrettable, do not meet the standard for 'excusable neglect,' he said. "[T]he entirely foreseeable obstacle of traffic in Southern California in the late afternoon...cannot justify an enlargement of time."

hat tip: Robert A. Sachs, Legal Writing Professor, California Western School of Law


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