Wednesday, November 17, 2010
With these words, a judge or a master politely lets the lawyer know that the case is dragging and the lawyer needs to move through the evidence more quickly.
In “New Matter” (Oct. 2010), the publication of the Chester County (PA) Bar Association, James P. MacElree, President Judge of Pennsylvania’s 15th Judicial District states, “You can expect to have strict time limits imposed and enforced by the Judge or Maser for any of the following:
Using 40 words when 10 will do.
Answering questions with spin instead of directly.
Calling repetitive or cumulative witnesses.
Asking the same questions multiple times,
Certifying the case for one day when you know it will be longer.
Filing certificates of trial readiness when you are not really ready.
Failing to mark your exhibits in advance of trial.
Failing to properly prepare your witnesses.
Failing to supply the statute or case that supports your position.
Beating a dead horse until the rotted flesh is stripped from its bar bleached bones.”
Here is an 8 page report from the University of North Carolina School of Government on the authority of courts to impose time limits on trials and suggestions on how to impose limits in state courts so as to avoid reversal on appeal. (It is generally agreed that federal courts have this authority.)