The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men
We're co-counseling an employment law case which was supposed to go to trial on the 29th. I'm using past-tense. What does that tell you?
After extensive time spent making sure we had out motions in limine and responses to their motions in limine (4 sets to respond to...JOY!), we get a call from the court late on the Thursday before our trial (starting on Wednesday the next week). We found out earlier that we were being brokered. And by earlier I mean in enough time that both sides knew they had to educate the judge in their trial briefs. Turns out, however, that there's no judge available to broker us to. We're given two options:
1) Stay on standby and "hope" we get a judge and "hope" there's jurors.
2) Stay with the judge that we had before we were brokered out and start instead on january 5th.
Both sides, deciding they like Christmas, decide on the fifth. Oh, but wait, they really don't enjoy christmas, because in comes a fifth set of motions in limine to respond to, now that they have time to do another set and have read our trial brief. SNAKES. Well-played.
So we don't go out as planned.
We plan on arguing motions in limine yesterday. The judge (quite rightfully) chooses more time to read the briefing on the motions in limine, and decides we will do them this morning. This is good news for me, as I spent 20 hours getting discovery out on another case, then moving to prepping binders of authority for all of the motions in limine. I was only able to get 4 of the five binders complete before going cross-eyed and needing to stumble home to get a few hours sleep. This is also good news as a mediation was double-booked for that day. This means we can all stay put in the mediation (those that aren't working on the jury questionnaire with the court) and not worry about trial for another day. It also gives me the chance, once I get back from mediation, to finish the binder, and find some case law on a couple of issues that came up.
I was able to get a solid 7 hours of sleep last night, am not necessary to trial today until the inevitable briefing needs come up, and can now finish my discovery responses on the other case.
The downside...not being at trial means that I don't get the adrenaline rush that pushes us through the lack of sleep.
So what's my point in writing this? Flexibility. I am a person that likes to stick to one task, delve my head in, and power through it. I've learned that this can't happen, because things come up. Sometimes small things (a phone call). Sometimes big things (a 12 hour project you weren't planning on). One of the reasons I went in to law was not wanting to be bored with what I was doing.
I made the right choice.