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What they don't teach you in law school...

Missing the judicial subtext

Judges have been known to tip their hands as to how they will rule on potential motions. This judicial prognostication allows lawyers to tailor their billable actions accordingly so that time, resources and client funds are not wasted on fruitless endeavors. At least that is the usual way these things work, rarely lawyers will gleefully ignore the judicial warnings and speed facefirst to the concrete wall of defeat. When this happens, the entire courtroom behind that lawyer is attempting to stifle their laughter.

For good reason: It’s not everyday you see someone blatantly ignore what the judge is saying:

Judge: I know the case law on this is clear and there has to be egregious behavior for a motion like this to be granted.
Lawyer: I still want to file this motion your honor.
Judge: I’m also familiar with the facts of the case and I don’t know that this is egregious behavior. Are you sure you want to file this motion?
Lawyer: Yes your honor. If I could have thirty days to file…
Judge: Well, why don’t we do this…you file this motion today. And we can have a hearing… This afternoon.
Lawyer: What about opposing counsel’s response?
Judge: (Looks at the other lawyer) I’ll let him make an oral response if he feels it necessary and I’ll tell you that I’m just going to read the motion on the bench and render a short ruling. So, we’ll see you this afternoon unless you don’t want to file the motion.
Lawyer: I still want to file it.
Judge: [A look of indignation and bewilderment formed on the judges face] Well, ok.

Here is the takeaway from this: Judges don’t like having their time wasted. Judges really don’t want to have their time wasted when the law is clear, there is virtually no chance of being overturned on appeal and a lawyer decides not to take a hint. Or five.

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About thenambypamby

Lawyer in Chicago. I blog, I tweet, I try to stay anonymous.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Missing the judicial subtext

  1. As a wise, young, and slightly diminutive Assistant State’s Attorney once said in response to an irate judge’s query of “Does the State have a response?”

    ASA: “No, your honor. I’m clearly winning.”

    Posted by waywardesquire | October 25, 2012, 1:27 pm
  2. Do you think that lawyer is taking on law student mentees?

    Posted by Robert Armstrong Jr. (@robarmstrongjr) | October 25, 2012, 1:46 pm
  3. Awful thing is when the tone deaf lawyer pushes the motion, loses then files an appeal. And when their grasp of the English language is less than stellar, it makes it so much fun to read the motions and briefs.

    Posted by Fort worth 9 l | October 28, 2012, 9:02 am

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