I bet I am not the only lawyer in the United States with boot prints on my backside. Whether it is called docket management, the rocket docket or some other name, we all know what it is to be whipsawed by a judge whose idea of justice is sticking to the schedule.
But what do we lawyers do when the docketmeisters can't seem to get their acts together? Answer: Grin, bear it and explain it to our clients as best we can.
A year or so ago a jury awarded a client of mine almost $1.5 million in an employment discrimination suit against the City of New Haven. Broadnax Verdict The inevitable appeal followed, and the case has been fully briefed since September 2004. There it sits, growing moldy, and gaining interest, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. But no argument date has been set yet. Why?
Too busy? I don't think so. In fact, I have perfected appeals, argued them and had decisions in the Second Circuit since September 2004.
And what of the District Courts here in Connecticut?
The district has a goal of getting all civil cases to judgment within eighteen months. Submit a discovery plan to the court calling for a little more time than meets that goal and expect judicial grumbling. But what happens when you wait two years for a ruling on a dispositive motion? Nothing.
Rumor has it some jurists enjoy reciting the following:
Mirror, mirror on the wall.
What orders most ignored of all?
Why those that say efficiency.
They apply to you but not to me.