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Judge the Judging Judgers.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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captainsblog
Judge the Judging Judgers....

On the day after the debut of NBC's new (un)reality show "The Associate Justice"- where a young, idealistically questionable but undeniably brilliant jurist nominated by the Cheeto stands in place of an older, less idealistically questionable but undeniably brilliant jurist nominated by the black guy- I got tastes of just how important these decisions are.  Most of the judges I encounter are elected, but generally either through back-room deals "cross-endorsing" slates representing both major parties, or through "contested" elections that are either shoo-ins for the Democrats (in cities) or the Republicans (in upstate judicial districts).  There's a fair amount of "pay to play" that goes into who gets nominated, and some shenanigans with gubernatorial appointments of judges to courts of limited jurisdiction who- boom!- get assigned as "acting" judges in the general parts of the civil courts.

As I think I mentioned recently, I had two hearings scheduled this week, where my opponents had been sent my papers literally more than three months before.  (The minimum  time you have to give your opponent by law, depending on how you serve and whether you demand answering papers a week ahead, is between eight and twenty-one days).  Both chose to drop their answering papers on me on either the last hour of the last day or the first hour of the following day.  That resulted in me losing much sleep over this weekend as I cogitated on the respective replies; one got finalized and sent out yesterday, the other, today. Since "reply" papers by law must be served a mere one day ahead of the hearing date, in both cases my responses were legally on time.

Or not.

The first of the two hearings, both in Rochester, was today at 2.  I left for it around 1:30 from our office there, after the Post Office finally delivered the original of tomorrow's papers from the NYC-based client.  Literally within minutes after getting on the road, I got this message concerning the second of the two:

Counselors,

Given the tardiness of the papers received during the last week in this matter and the Court’s need to review the materials submitted just today, it has unfortunately become necessary to adjourn this matter from tomorrow’s special term to March 16, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

So, yeah. Because my opponent waited three months to serve HIS papers at the last minute, and I took four days to respond in kind, we're off for another month and a half.  I emailed an objection; it was overruled.

Needless to say, I was grumpy by the time I got to the hearing on the first case. And there, too, the grumpiness increased, because the judge (one of those gubernatorial appointments of judges to courts of limited jurisdiction who- boom!- got assigned as an "acting" judge in the general parts of the civil courts) couldn't do simple math calculations from my opponent's own papers which confirmed that they did not pay what they needed to pay when they needed to pay it.  So we're off to a touchy-feely mediation hearing, and the client is risking exposure not only to my fees but my opponent's because the judge raised a bunch of issues not in either of our sets of papers.

So, other than that, Mrs. Gorsuch, how was your day after your kid got nominated?

Not all that bad, actually. On my drive home and around town after getting home, I filled the early part of my day tomorrow with two new appointments- one from the referral source I mentioned yesterday, the other a longlost client from months ago.  I also have plenty of catch-up work to fill the rest of the day with. And before getting That Call and going to That Hearing this morning, my day began quite nicely with file research north of here for a new client- one who I picked up simply because his previous attorney (a guy I know, like and respect) won't return his phone calls.

At least I do that- or will. Tomorrow.

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