Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lawyers' Top Ten Pet Peeves

I came across the following list, originally published in the Jacksonville Lawyer Magazine in 2007, that outlines lawyers' various pet peeves.  I can't say these are my personal pet peeves (or Gerry's) but it's a fun glance into the "stress" of the profession.
  1. Promptness
    • Not returning another lawyer's call promptly;
    • Not responding to a lawyer's correspondence;
    • Untimely responses to discovery requests.
  2. Being Unacommodating
    • Cancelling depositions or scheduling them at the last minute;
    • Being difficult when scheduling;
    • Refusing to cancel matters when opposing counsel has a family crisis.
  3.  Lack of Manners
    • Failing to introduce oneself to opposing counsel;
    • Incivility and lack of respect for fellow counsel;
    • Being rude to opposing counsel or counsel's staff.
  4.  Inadequate Communication
    • Sending a fax at night to opposing counsel on a matter coming before the court the morning after.  Also, keeping a firm's fax machine turned off and requiring "permission" to send a fax, which includes having to explain what the fax is about;
    • Ending letters with, "I remain, very truly yours."
    • Failing to put a fax number and email address on pleadings and correspondence.
  5.  Discovery Matters
    • Denying possession of evidence when in fact they are withholding it properly;
    • Not producing documents in response to a request for production in a timely, organized, and orderly manner;
    • Producing duplicate copies of documents, making the production appear larger.
  6.  Inadequate Consequences - Lack of Sanctions
    • When opposing counsel blatantly violates court orders and repeatedly delays discovery, and the judge fails to sanction such conduct.
  7.  Inadequate Motions and Pleadings
    • Lack of brevity in briefs;
    • Filing memoranda of law on significant motions and then showing up at the hearing only to argue case law not in the brief as the crux of their argument;
    • Creating "strawman" arguments advocating "red herring" issues;
    • Failing to city authority forming the basis for a motion.
  8.  Unfair Hearing Practices
    • Bringing case law to a hearing either without copies for opposing counsel, or with highlighted copies for the judge, but not opposing counsel.
  9.  Judges Shouting
  10.  Mischaracterization 
    • Mischaracterizing opposing counsel's oral statements in a responsive written correspondence.

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