Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pratfalls.; (about 2:45 into video); and

These physical pratfalls ably depict the legal pratfall I witnessed in court this week.

On Monday, the court heard a motion for summary judgment I brought on behalf of a corporate defendant. From the outset, the judge removed any doubt about who would win. He stated that I had successfully shifted the burden to the plaintiff to present evidence why my client should remain in the case. He then referenced my reply brief which observed that the plaintiff had presented no competent evidence to continue with the case against the defendant corporation. He then ordered summary judgment in favor of my client, saving a trial as to it. (Other defendants did not bring a similar dispositive motion and will be facing trial in December).

I jumped in to volunteer to prepare the order and judgment. Opposing counsel interrupted to say that he wanted to argue the court's ruling. That's when things got even worse for him.

He said that he objected to the declaration submitted by the corporation's president. The court asked why he didn't submit any written objections. No response.

The court then inquired what the objections were.

Opposing counsel replied: "Self-serving." The court rejected that offering, correctly noting it was not a legal objection. He then tried to state that it was "speculation." The court was similarly unimpressed, stating that it was hardly speculative for the corporate president to testify whether it had any dealings with the plaintiff.

The court asked if there was anything else. My opponent said, "I've got nothing."