Push the Case . . .Or the Case Will Push You


Jun 16

I was speaking with a younger lawyer, who complained to me that her case was not moving as quickly as she would like.  Her client had a claim which she wanted to pursue, and had filed suit, but the court was not moving the case along. 

I explained to her that such delays do not happen at my firm.  When representing a client with a claim we wish to collect upon, we make the file move forward.  All of the lawyers in my firm know that we want to push our cases, rather than have our cases push us. 

I explained to this younger lawyer that she need not wait for the judge to do anything.  In fact, rarely should counsel expect the judge to push the case for them.  Courts are not designed to move a matter for the benefit of one party or the other.  While it is true that courts have dockets and calendars, and judges generally want to work on clearing those, no one should expect the court to do anything for him or her.

That is the job of the parties’ counsel.  If we want the matter to move forward, there are a number of things we can do.  We can bring appropriate motions, or we can simply let the court know that we are ready for trial. 

We believe that it is always better to be in control of your case, moving it at the pace you wish it to go.  The alternative is to let the case push you, having always to respond to directives from the court or motions from opposing counsel.

Over the years, I have heard many people complain that a lawsuit in which they were involved was taking too long and dragging out.  I suspect their attorney was not pushing hard enough.

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