Friday, May 30, 2014

The Saga of the Missing Defendant Continues…

After months of wrangling to finally get the trial to go forward, it appeared that May would be the month that we finally wrapped the case up. But then, the other party failed to appear at trial last week. And then we found out that he had been arrested, which is why he had failed to appear, and the matter was rescheduled.

Still, the preparation for trial continued and again the trial date approached. But lo and behold, just two days before the trial, the other party was apparently found guilty in a criminal court and has now been incarcerated for a few months. So our new challenge now is to find a way to have the other party produced for the trial from his incarceration and ensure that the trial proceeds in a fair manner.

So now we are left to wait for a new trial date from the Court and hope that this trial can finally proceed someday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Bold New Trial Strategy

Last week, I encountered a bold new trial strategy from a gentleman who was representing himself. The case has been going on for a little less than one year, and it was only at the last court appearance that he showed up for the first time. This was after the Judge had already entered a default against him and we were preparing to proceed with an inquest (a one-sided trial after a party defaults).

The gentleman finally appeared and the Judge rescheduled the case for an afternoon in May. As the time for trial approached, the gentleman and I spoke about the case and attempted to settle it without the need for a trial. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to work out all the details and my client and I showed up for our trial at 2:00.

We waited and waited, but the gentleman didn’t show up. Finally, the Judge explained why we were waiting: the gentleman had appeared in the morning and waited in the courtroom all morning until the clerk finally told him that the trial was scheduled for the afternoon and he should come back then. When the appointed hour arrived, he was nowhere to be found and the Judge decided to give him one last chance and adjourned the case.

** Important trial strategy update: After some research, it seems that the gentleman was arrested during the lunch break, so I guess he had a good excuse for not appearing for the trial.