Thursday, March 8, 2007

Fudging a Filing Date Miffs Utah Judge

In Utah, state and federal courthouses give last-minute lawyers a break: they have date stamp machines outside the building so you can datestamp a document after closing on the date that it's due, plop it in a drop box, and still have met the deadline.

Some attorneys in a big federal case tried to scam the system: they datestamped the first page of their document and did not plop it in the drop box, instead going back to the office to work on it for three or four more days. The filing was due the Friday before Presidents Day weekend (Feb. 16), and it wasn't found in the drop box until the Wednesday morning (Feb. 21) pickup, sandwiched between documents that were datestamped Feb. 20.

Judge Dale A. Kimball (D. Utah) was steamed and issued a sizzling order:

This deceitful conduct will not be tolerated. The conduct is particularly egregious when counsel has been previously notified that the court is liberal in granting extensions of time when additional time is needed. Moreover, counsel in this case have been admonished before about the gamesmanship that has been taking place in this lawsuit.
Judge Kimball vs. naughty Salt Lake lawyers, Voice of Utah, March 5, 2007.

Thanks: Jessica Van Buren.

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