Fictional TV shows involving lawyers frequently include plots with outrageous attorney behavior, but it isn’t quite as interesting (or as inconsequential) when lawyers try to emulate such tactics in real life. As most lawyers know, borderline behavior can be risky.
In Kansas, a federal judge recently upbraided an attorney
because he would not consent to a trial continuance requested by the defense counsel. The motion was based on the impending fatherhood of one of the defense attorneys, Bryan Erman of Dallas, whose wife is expecting their first child.
As it if it wasn’t bad enough to helpfully point out the number of non-stop flights available between Kansas City and Dallas, plaintiff’s counsel decided to, um, go even further. From Judge Eric Melgren’s order:
Plaintiffs make a lengthy and spirited argument about when Defendants should have known this would happen, even citing a pretrial conference occurring in early November as a time when Mr. Erman “most certainly” would have known of the due date of his child, and even more astonishingly arguing that “utilizing simple math, the due date for Mr. Erman’s child’s birth would have been known on approximately Oct. 3, or shortly thereafter.” For reasons of good taste which should be (though, apparently, are not) too obvious to explain, the Court declines to accept Plaintiff’s invitation to speculate on the time of conception of the Ermans’ child. . . . Certainly this judge is convinced of the importance of federal court, but he has always tried not to confuse what he does with who he is, nor to distort the priorities of his day job with his life’s role. Counsel are encouraged to order their priorities similarly. Defendant’s motion is GRANTED. The Ermans are CONGRATULATED.
No word on whether Plaintiff’s lawyer has children.