Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Move It Along, Counsel"

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.)


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