Thursday, July 17, 2003

The Courts: Judge Just Doesn't Give a Damn

Lawyers can be very anal when they want to be, which is most of the time. Judges, however, always get the last laugh:
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN

HYPERPHRASE TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
and HYPERPHRASE INC.,
ORDER
Plaintiffs,
02-C-647-C
v.
MICROSOFT CORPORATION,
Defendant.


Pursuant to the modified scheduling order, the parties in this case had until June 25, 2003 to file summary judgment motions. Any electronic document may be e-filed until midnight on the due date. In a scandalous affront to this court’s deadlines, Microsoft did not file its summary judgment motion until 12:04:27 a.m. on June 26, 2003, with some supporting documents trickling in as late as 1:11:15 a.m. I don’t know this personally because I was home sleeping, but that’s what the court’s computer docketing system says, so I’ll accept it as true.

Microsoft’s insouciance so flustered Hyperphrase that nine of its attorneys, namely Mark A. Cameli, Lynn M. Stathas, Andrew W. Earlandson, Raymond P. Niro, Paul K. Vickrey, Raymond P. Niro, Jr., Robert Greenspoon, Matthew G. McAndrews, and William W. Flachsbart, promptly filed a motion to strike the summary judgment motion as untimely. Counsel used bolded italics to make their point, a clear sign of grievous iniquity by one’s foe. True, this court did enter an order on June 20, 2003 ordering the parties not to flyspeck each other, but how could such an order apply to a motion filed almost five minutes late? Microsoft’s temerity was nothing short of a frontal assault on the precept of punctuality so cherished by and vital to this court.

Wounded though this court may be by Microsoft’s four minute and twenty-seven second dereliction of duty, it will transcend the affront and forgive the tardiness. Indeed, to demonstrate the even-handedness of its magnanimity, the court will allow Hyperphrase on some future occasion in this case to e-file a motion four minutes and thirty seconds late, with supporting documents to follow up seventy-two minutes later.

Having spent more than that amount of time on Hyperphrase’s motion, it is now time to move on to the other Gordian problems confronting this court. Plaintiff’s motion to strike is denied.

Entered this 1st day of July, 2003.

BY THE COURT:

STEPHEN L. CROCKER
Magistrate Judge
Credit to Eugene Volokh for bringing this to my attention.

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