Monday, January 15, 2007

Childish Tactics

From my weekly (AM) radio segment titled "Legal Minute".

Childhood games of ‘rock, paper, scissors’ in the schoolyard is something we remember but in the courthouse? A Florida courthouse perhaps. In a recent case where a hotel investment firm sued an insurance company for allegedly not paying a claim fast enough after Hurricane Charley, attorneys for the parties fought at every turn. When it came time to select a location to depose a witness, the attorneys would not agree. As a result, the court was asked to intervene. The presiding U.S. District Judge was not amused. After chastising the attorneys for not being able to agree on even the simplest matter, the Judge issued his ruling stating that “the Court will adopt a new form of alternative dispute resolution calling for the attorneys to meet at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If the attorneys cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the courthouse. Each attorney is entitled to be accompanied by one paralegal who shall act as a witness. At that time and location, counsel shall engage in one (1) game of 'rock, paper, scissors.' The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location for the deposition.” Perhaps they needed a time out.