January 12, 2018 view from the bench

Lawyers Behaving Badly: What Not to Do in Federal Court

By Hon. Karen L. Stevenson

Typically, I write about recent legal decisions of import to practitioners, but several recent incidents with lawyers left me perplexed, as in “What were they thinking?”

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So I share three “teachable moments” of what not to do in federal court: (1) Do not ask for a continuance in your opposing brief; (2) do not request substantive or procedural relief via telephone call to chambers; and (3) do not rely on state rules and case law when requesting relief governed by the federal rules. I offer these stories as a reminder to those who practice often in federal court and as an alert to those who may find themselves there less often.

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