By David Hricik, Mercer Law School
Over the decades (sigh) I’ve been involved in various capacities in cases where practitioners have missed deadlines. Sometimes, the client’s partly to blame. For example, imagine a client at the last minute dumping a lot of information they expect to be included in an application or any claim is barred (say by a prior publication). At other times, the lawyer misses the date. For example, imagine key docketing personnel leave and that leaves a knowledge gap, or an unanswered email box, allowing a deadline to pass by.
Obviously, having dual docketing systems is important. Ensuring dates are entered correctly is important. Ensuring that there is a person responsible for the deadline, likewise important. And, of course, much of this is now automated.
I would be curious to rad what you believe to be “best practices” or mandatory minimum standards in this area. For example, I’ve seen some firms send notices to clients that in essence say “we’re not going to foreign file unless you tell us” while others insist on an affirmative “I don’t want foreign filings” written message from the client, and hound the client until they get it.
If you have “war stories” or thoughts or concerns, please share them in the comments. Obviously, everyone understands you’ll be telling us about someone else’s mistake, not yours! :-).
FYI I am writing a short article on this topic and would love to share with other practitioners what you have learned. I’m thinking “where the landmines are” might be a good title for this one.