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.