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January 24, 2013

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Max Kennerly

I saw this same problem this morning while waiting for my turn in state court. The verdict loser's counsel failed to file for post-trial relief because his father had just revealed, after 35 years of marriage, that he had a second family, and so the counsel was emotionally distraught and missed the deadline.

Unsurprisingly, counsel for the verdict winner was sympathetic, and said, if it was up to him, he'd excuse it, but that there was case law in his favor, and so he felt obligated to make the objection on behalf of his client. The judge seemed strongly inclined to excuse the error.

The part that shocks me is how the Court of Appeals here overruled the District Court's exercise of discretion in permitting the late filing. I wonder when's the last time these judges did that and reversed a District Court's exercise of discretion in not permitting the late filing.

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