What’s your biggest rant about …
September 3, 2015 § 11 Comments
… scheduling cases for hearing in chancery court? How could we improve?
Comments by lawyers and judges are welcome and invited. You may post as anonymous or use a screen name, but you must include a valid email address so that I can verify that you are a member of the legal profession. Your email address will not appear.
No personal attacks. Please do not name particular lawyers or judges. Please be brief and to the point. All comments by persons who have not been approved before are moderated, so it may take a while for your comment to appear if it is approved.
Have at it.
[NOTE: If we have good participation, your rants on various topics may become a regular feature.]
Judge, this may not be a feature of many counties, but I’ve seen it in some of our more populous ones. Looking at a case through the lens of an appeal, it strikes me as difficult for all involved when the trial court has a multi-day trial that takes place over several months. I have seen this in a couple of cases–so proof is put on a splish here and a splash there. This often leads to further delay in rulings. Human error will creep in even the best of situations, and it ramps up the difficulty when a trial court is hearing proof over 9 months. So perhaps if there is going to be a trial, have it all at once.
Amen. It’s devilishly difficult to keep up with all the details in a situation like that. I try to avoid that as a judge, but it does unavoidably happen every now and then. I know I tried many cases like that as a lawyer.
I would like for all courts to have a set time for exparte matters, allowing 10-15 minutes that are scheduled by calling the court administrator or scheduling on line. In those courts that use the “sign in at 9:00 and wait” procedure, the attorney spends a lot of time (sometimes 1+hours) waiting and the clients are charged for the wait time. By having a set time, you significantly cut down your waiting time. If you have a time sensitive matter, you can still go and hope the docket runs faster or their is a cancellation.
Not exactly on point but why can’t the trial judges be part of the MEC system so I don’t have to schlep a hard copy of a brief to the post office after filing it electronically. How hard would that be?
As a paralegal I would like to see more Time Standards Orders being entered by Judges for Chancery Court Cases. It makes the clients happy to know when their Settlement Conferences are set and when their Trial Dates are set. It gives them a projected idea of how long their case is going to take to complete and eases a lot of the typical questions surrounding Court Dates. It also helps tremendously having deadlines in place for the completion of discovery. Even though there are Rules in place for the deadlines for discovery I have found that most attorneys do not adhere to them. If it is typed in an Order it makes your Staff put it on the calendar and that is what gets the Attorney’s attention. I also like the I.O.U. procedure for Orders. Nothing aggravates a client more than being awarded Temporary Relief and then waiting and waiting to have a copy of the stamped “filed” Order. I also would like to see more laptops or desktop computers available to the Attorneys and Staff at the Courthouses on hearing days. Once a hearing is concluded or an agreement worked out between the parties it makes life so much easier to be able to hand the client their Order before they leave the Courthouse.
I think judges need to take a more active role in their cases. If nothing has been done on a case for 45 days, he/she should ask for a telephonic status conference. That would force attorneys who are dragging their feet to actually work their cases. I also think that judges should allow paralegals (with prior approval from the attorneys) to present orders on ex parte days.
A matter of view point. Rule 1 ( the just, speedy, efficient administration of justice) should be the only MRCP rule and the rest be important suggestions on how to achieve Rule 1. Rule 1 should be interpreted with the Maxims of Chancery.
temp hearings:judge billy bridges would have lawyers or non-represented parties stand up and give about a 1-2 minute summary;he would rule from bench and knock out about 10-15 cases in one to two hours.
copy fed ct for scheduling orders and trial settings, ie, within 30 days of answer a scheduling order must be filed with discovery deadlines and a trial setting.
exparte day:get in line and sign the sign in sheet for whatever you need help on;cut off long talking lawyers who like to hear themselves talk and/or set up time limit up front and stick to it.
You have to reinvent the wheel for every judge/jurisdiction. Some court admins are easy to get in touch with, some are impossible to find. Some courts have online calendars. Some do not. Some judges will decide which cases they want to hear and when they will hear them, leaving you without an option to get relief. There’s an unwritten rule in MS that in order to get a ruling on a motion, you have to get it heard. However, there are no rules for having motions heard. There needs to be a better, more consistent way of obtaining a hearing set forth in the rules.
Wish all courts had online calendars. Wish all courts had same policies for setting cases.
Gripe: automatic MEC notification to prior attorneys upon reopening a case to pursue contemp or modification. Advance notice that the process server is coming tends to make service much more difficult and costly.