Thursday, April 15, 2010

Always Read The Court Rules. And Check The Partner's Math.

I effed up.



Well, I guess it could have been much worse. But my blunder is still very, very embarassing.

I recently drafted a motion to dismiss for one of our cases. The plaintiff's opposition was due last Friday. Our reply was due Monday. Plaintiff never opposed our motion, so my reply said something like this: "Neener neener neener. You suck at life. You didn't oppose our motion. We're gonna kick your butt at hearing!"

The day after our reply was filed we received plaintiff's opposition. I was caught off guard. They didn't even acknowledge that their response was late. I thought they were being sleezy considering they've been that way since the day litigation started. So we filed a surreply. Surreplies are not technically mentioned in the court rules but our firm uses them occassionally when a situation warrants a last chance kick to opponent's groin. My surreply said something like this: "You lazy bastards. You can't even follow court rules. You still suck at life. You should be sanctioned you little pricks." (Ok, fine. I'll admit, I was actually very professional- but please play along with my creative license.)

The next day we receive plaintiff's surreply. Oh my god. They claimed they were NOT untimely. They claimed we were using tricks to win our motion. They called us everything under the sun. Hmm. Well, who was right? I checked the calendaring schedule for the motion. Yep, it said right there, opposition due Friday and the hearing is Thursday. Hey, wait a minute. That doesn't sound right! A response is usually due TWO days before a hearing not almost a week before a hearing.



This is where my universe collapsed in on me and I wanted to scrawl the word "Loser" in bloody letters across my forehead with the end of a paperclip. I had just got owned. So I went back and read the court rule and it turns out they were completely right and their motion was not late. But my reply and surreply were basically pages and pages of written verbal vomit on how much they suck at law and how they can't read court rules. Oh boy, it was time to eat my words. But first I had to call the partner on the case and explain the situation to him (in all honestly, he went over the case schedule with me but I still should have double checked his math because he was super busy that day).

I called up the partner, explained everything and I apologized profusely. Thank goodness he was in the middle of handling a trial which was going very well for him and that he was in a good mood. I took the blame and then got up and started swinging again.

I had to write an amended reply on the day of the hearing and rush it quickly to the judge- yay for e-filing. My reply was someting like this: "Please disregard our prior reply. We were hit by the dumb truck and suffered a temporary lapse in ability to follow court rules. But we should still win our motion because opposing counsel is still three times the failure we are. And he's a sleeze-bag. Love, Us. P.s.: That robe makes your butt look super hot."


Anonymous said...

Sorry about the mistake but I couldn't quite read about the entire thing because it seems the format of this post seems to be messed up -?

Anonymous said...

I hate humble pie. It tastes like crap.

Proto Attorney said...

Ugh, I officially declare this Suck Week. That's awful! On the bright side, it doesn't have your name on it yet, right? :D

Michael said...

Ditto IDWSJ's comment - humble pie is truly awful!!

Still, it's inevitable that everyone's got to consume a massive portion every now and then. I've certainly screwed the pooch on the odd occasion! :-(

Sounds like you picked yourself up and got the hell on with things very nicely, though! And that's what truly matters, I guess!! :-)

Shantelle said...

I can't wait to f*** up like this someday!

J/K I'm sure it happens all the time, I would love to just sit down with a judge sometime and hear about all the mistakes people make. I bet it's hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I know how you feel. I hate when I screw up, which, despite my best efforts, continues to happen!

Take heart though, if the mistake is fixable, its not that bad. ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Butterflyfish said...

Oh man, Cee. That is awful. I know its not a big deal in the great scheme of things, but I imagine the sinking feeling and the "holy shit" moment etc.

legally certifiable said...

Oh, that sucks! Speaking as someone who has had her share of screw-ups lately, you will get past this. You'll just be extra-paranoid for the next couple of weeks.

Googie Baba said...

Oh gosh Cee. This reminds me of when I was a webmaster and I yelled at the database manager because the database wasn't working. Well, guess who had actually deleted the WHOLE DATABASE! Me. It sucked. But now, it's just a memory.

I'm sure the super hot robe comment will help too.