Friday, May 11, 2012

Hey Baby, Do You "Meet and Confer" Here Often?


In Miami, back in the old days, lawyers used to meet and confer over drinks at Sally Russell's and inevitably wind up going home with each other's wives.

Hey, it was the 70s!

But like our President we evolved, and by the 80s we had teams of waiting "faxers" who would instantly (well, it took about 25 minutes) send late-Friday nastygrams to opposing counsel, designed to ruin the weekend and necessitate a faxed response on Sunday.

Aah such pleasant memories....

But now we can "meet and confer" by having a Twitterwar, or by pinning mean things about each other on Pinterest, or via my personal favorite -- assembling a guild of World of Warcraft characters who simultaneously attack and destroy opposing counsel in a dungeon.

Either way, the one thing we NEVER do is actually speak with each other face to face.
 
But there's a new Sheriff federal judge in town, and he kicks it old-school:
Apparently, the parties disagree as to whether the Court’s Initial Order requires them to meet and confer in person or whether a telephone conference will do. The Court’s Order provided that, within the time prescribed, “the parties shall meet and confer regarding discovery and scheduling issues, as set out in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) and Local Rule 16.1(b).” See Initial Order ¶ 2 [ECF No. 2]. This District’s Local Rule 16.1(b) expressly states that the parties shall meet and confer “in person, by telephone, or by other comparable means[.]”  See S.D. Fla. L. R. 16.1(b)(1). This Court has not ordered otherwise. Accordingly, the parties are free to meet by telephone, if they prefer. The Court has no preference, as long as the conference is conducted in timely fashion and the parties comply with their obligations set forth in the Rules and the Court’s Initial Order.
So WoW dungeon-war it is!!

But then there is this:
This Court is not in the business of babysitting the parties.
Such bright-eyed optimism, and I certainly hope he's correct -- but has he seen how our Bar behaves?

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