This post gives the other point of view about soundings and motions for continuances. It deserves to be read as a response to our post yesterday (plus, the writer goes out of his/her way to stroke our ego):
Rump: I have found you to be fair and even handed over this past year. You are virtually always a voice of reason. You tell it like it is. I think THAT'S why people log into this blog. If your ideas were always stupid, no one would care. When you think you're right you say so, and when you have been shown by others that you may have missed the mark, you likewise say so. That's why you have the following you do.
You correctly state Judge Dava Tunis's deserved credit for being respected and at the top of the list for any judge we'd want hearing a case. You say she is one of the best and the brightest, but then you write: "Making private attorneys do grunt work for no reason other than to frustrate their ability to continue a case is not the solution."
Come on Rump!
The policy she came up with applies not to just private attorneys, but to all attorneys-including pds and asa's. It also says that if there are legitimate reasons why a motion can't be made in time or in writing, she'll consider that. As far as I know, have seen, and have heard, she never simply denied a continuance because it wasn't in writing.
I have only two cases in there, but it has given me enough exposure to her efficiency. My guess is that it would be more like her to deny something because it's on its 8th continuance and is coming up on two years old, irrespective of whether the newest request to continue is in writing. Then she applies serious pressure toward trial/resolution, written continuance or not.
And as you fairly pointed out, those are 8 continuances that she herself did not grant over those two years. Frankly what I've seen of her in being in the court, I cannot imagine that she's going to deny a first time up or even second time continuance for any reason, written motion or not. She might remind the lawyer of the policy for future times, but as you said she's respected and one of the best and brightest.
It appears like she reads everything that's given to her and cuts down on the time it takes to address something, because she already has read whatever motion you have filed (terminate probation early/motion to travel/whatever) That also means she's not foolish with the decisions she makes. In the times I've been there and talked to the pit people on both sides, I've not had occasion to witness or hear about any strict knee-jerk reaction by her on anything. My guess, and it's just a guess from what I've seen in the flow of the court, is that she's just trying to come up with some policy to create accountability and stop that gravy train from continuing (no pun intended) to flow unchecked.
Besides, have you (or all of us) forgotten that the criminal rules provide for written motions of continuances 'with certificate of service stated by counsel that it's made in good faith'. 3.190(a),(g)(4)? [Rumpole says: We did not forget about that. We wrote that no motion should be put on calendar until it contains that certificate plus independent proof of what the attorney did to comply- like a letter to opposing counsel.]
Asking for something in writing is really not the Judge Izzy Reyes Reduex from last year that you compared this to. By the way, she already took your advice - three to four weeks before you posted it - when she discussed with all the people in her division not putting motions for disco/better addresses, etc. on calendar until they could show by memos or email that they have already made a good faith attempt to get the missing items, to avoid clogging up the calendar.
So, your comments about her are very fair and accurate, but this: ore tenus or nothing else, doesn't hold water. I personally faxed an Agreed Motion for continuance to her chambers sometime last month, asking my presence and my client's presence be waived on a first time up case. She granted it and I got a call from her JA asking me what trial date the state and I agreed to, without requiring my presence at the sounding.
So come on, lets get real and actually practice law. Just from the way she acts and welcomes suggestions in the court, I would imagine a tweaking to this policy could easily be accomplished, maybe by someone talking to her. But to say ore tenus or nothing, is a bit much.
Doesn't sound like that reasoned Rump I've come to know over this past year.
Rumpole says: Well done.
Maybe certain assistant public defenders who have taken to trashing us on TV and saying that the blog is just about attacking people might change her mind after reading your reply.
As President Lincoln once said about changing his mind: "You don't have to eat the whole egg to know it's rotten."
See you in court giving mean looks to a certain PD.