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Act 35: The Scheduling Conference

Well, I survived the scheduling conference today (Tuesday, November 13, 2001).

To my surprise, I was pretty nervous. It turned that I was the one who had to set up the conference call, which I found out just shortly before the call was set to begin. That was a little nerve-wracking, but at least it gave me something to do. But when all the arrangements were complete, I still had a few minutes to kill, and my anxiety level began to creep up.

But once the actual conference got underway, I was fine. It was very straightforward. First, Judge Zatkoff strongly suggested that I get a lawyer to help me wade through the complicated federal procedures. As an example of the problems I faced without an attorney, he pointed out that two of my motions had arrived without briefs – and that, according to local rules, he would have to strike those motions. However, he said that he'd give me five days to submit the motions properly accompanied by briefs, but that this was the last time he'd cut me any slack. All in all, that seemed more than fair to me.

That out of the way, the judge asked Ms. Greenberg what the case was all about. She launched into a long dissertation, and the judge got more than a little put out with her – which, of course, was kind of fun for me. In fairness to Ms. Greenberg, I suspect that she misinterpreted the judge – I think she thought that the judge was asking her to shorten her remarks (that's what I thought, anyway), but he was really telling her to end them. And then I think he tried to interrupt her for a couple of seconds, and she kept right on talking – but I'm sure she wasn't ignoring him, I just don't think that she could hear him. (He appeared to be on a speaker phone, and speaker phones don't always "reverse" the connection very quickly, making it difficult to interrupt another speaker.) All in all, it was just a quick and very minor incident, but it did provide a moment of light relief (for me, but possibly not for Ms. Greenberg).

Judge Zatkoff asked a few other quick questions, then he asked how long we needed for the discovery process. Ms. Greenberg said 30 days would be enough, I held out for 60. The judge went for 90. And since his opinion is the only one that counts, the cutoff date for discovery will be February 15, 2002.

Finally, the judge said that he'd be sending out a Scheduling Order that would include the discovery cutoff date, cutoff dates for several other processes (witness lists, dispositive motions... whatever they are...), and a trial date of August, 2002. Then it was over. The whole thing lasted less than ten minutes.

So, what am I doing working on my website? I've got some motions to rewrite!!

Next: Motion To Dismiss Complaint (Take 2)

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