Monday, September 23, 2013

Trial Postponement: Why This is Frustrating for both Clients and Lawyers.

    Last Thursday, the Judge continued (postponed) a trial scheduled to start today (Monday) for 45 days.  The Defense did not want to go to trial.  Because Judges are never reversed for postponing trials (and sometimes reversed for refusing to postpone trial for a party that claims not to be ready), the postponement was granted.

    For the client, postponement is another frustrating event in a long process.  Psychologically ready for trial, the Client must regroup and prepare to fight another day.  In the meantime, the stress and uncertainty of  resolution that only a trial can bring to an end, continues.

    For the lawyer, postponement presents a series of events as the lawyer stands down in his trial preparations while, at the same time, beginning preparations for the new dates.  These steps include:

    1.    Notifying each and every witness who has made room in their schedules to testify that the trial is being postponed.

    2.   Working with the same witnesses to reserve time on the new date to testify.  It is not unusual to deal with scheduling conflicts on the new date.  This all has to be worked out.

    3.    Reviewing the Lawyer's Calendar to address scheduling conflicts on the new trial date.   With the trial case having the highest priority, this means addressing new dates for other cases.

    4.    Continuing to work on issues pertaining to exhibits that are not resolved simply by the postponement of trial.

    5.    Reviewing the status of other matters that were being put on hold because of the now-cancelled trial.

No matter what happens, one has to continue to play their hand smartly.  See