Many years ago we came to a decision to avoid cases out of town. (Of course within six months of carrying a trial bag we vowed to avoid Broward, but that's another kettle of cow dung altogether.) Having made that decision, we promptly began to be hired on cases in Boston, Washington D.C., NYC and Seattle, to name a few places.
A review of those cases leads us to the conclusion that it is usually not advantageous to either the client or the attorney to handle cases in foreign places. We are speaking for the moment mostly about State court cases. In federal courts, cases, policies and procedures have become more uniform and it has become easier to handle those cases in other jurisdictions. But even in federal court, when it comes to criminal prosecutions, every jurisdiction has their own peccadilloes. Often the client is best served by local counsel who can provide the inside tips on what it takes to get a safety-valve plea or how a judge conducts voire-dire.
The only advantage we can think of in cases out of town is where the client is local, it is easier for both parties to meet, review discovery, and discuss strategy. But, as is the case lately, if the client is incarcerated, the burdens on the lawyer representing a client out of town become even more severe. In the best of circumstances none of us relish a Friday evening or Saturday morning trip to FDC or Metro West. Catching a Southwest Flight on a Thursday night to squeeze in a jail visit Friday and a return flight Friday night is hardly our idea of fun.
So what are your best and worst experiences with cases out of town? And do you agree with our proposition that on average clients are better served with local counsel?
Closer to home, the new judicial rotations have now been fully implemented. Judges Pooler, De la O and Verde, to name three, are now putting their personal imprimatur on cases in their divisions. What's the early reviews?
Any obvious cases of "robe-itis" with any of the new Judges?
Meanwhile Judges Arzola, Bloom and Cueto (the ABC's?) are dipping their toes in summary judgement motions and complaints over interrogatories and other such foolishness from attorneys whose biggest litigation accomplishment is taking a depo by themselves.
Winter is in full swing in South Florida. Pool use is limited to those hours in the afternoon when the sun is strongest. Hang on Floridians, it will get better soon.
Pope To Resign!
The BBC broke this story here. Nothing we like better than a good Vatican mystery followed by a Conclave of Cardinals. Intrigue. Power. Back room deals. All followed by white smoke.
Enjoy the week. See You In Court.