In Uncategorized on 02/03/2021 at 16:47

Lest I be misunderstood, I am no unregenerate foe of continuing legal education. Even before Our Fair State adopted the Part 22 Rules on CLE, I had more than enough hours to satisfy the requirements every year. One must keep current; law changes at an ever-accelerating rate, and we lawyers are like Mark Twain and his fellow old-time riverboat pilots: “Other craftsmen can ‘sink the shop,’ sometimes, and interest themselves in other matters. Not so with a pilot; he must devote himself wholly to his profession and talk of nothing else; for it would be small gain to be perfect one day and imperfect the next. He has no time or words to waste if he would keep ‘posted.'”

I do, however, object to the “junk CLE” sales pitches. And the “win your case anywhere but in the courtroom” discovery games thus encouraged.

Now I don’t know the facts, the questions, or the documents. So maybe so it’s all justified.

But when I read Judge Nega’s order in Mark Betz & Christine Betz, et al., Docket No. 21587-18, filed 2/3/21*, I get the feeling that things have gotten a wee bit out of hand, and maybe so don’t need to be expanded in the physical or electronic lecture hall.

I won’t paraphrase the two Rule 90 requests for admissions, other than to state that the second contained 922 (count ’em, 922) paragraphs and 854 documents. Read them, and the responses, for yourself.

But I will echo Judge Nega’s plea, noting that our new New York discovery rules bring our State court practice closer into line with the Federal.

“The Court strongly encourages the parties to meet and work together to narrow the issues for trial and stipulate to the fullest extent possible. We take this opportunity to advise the parties that the informal discovery process is essential for the voluntary exchange of facts and documents that enable preparation of stipulations and ‘the more expeditious trial of cases.’ Branerton Corp., 61 T.C. at 692. The parties must participate in this process and, in the course of doing so, we expect them to cooperate informally or formally if necessary.” Order, at p. 3.

*Mark Betz Docket No 21587 18 2 3 21



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