July 10, 2012

Read the Rules!

Posted in Commercial Litigation by Gene Killian |

It’s amazing how many experienced lawyers forget to read the rules, and how many get burned by their failures.  Nothing is more embarrassing.  (Yes, I’ve learned that the hard way a few times over the course of my career.) But, in the end, the rules are all we have.

In his excellent book, “What You Didn’t Learn in Law School,” Charles Bruess writes: “There are lawyers who believe that because they have graduated from law school and passed a bar examination, they no longer need to do research or review fundamental statutes and rules…There is an interesting decision in which, on appeal, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ascertained that there was no diversity jurisdiction. Vacating the judgment, the Seventh Circuit said, ‘The costs of a doomed foray into federal court should fall on the lawyers who failed to do their homework, not on the hapless clients.’ The court ordered the lawyers to ‘perform, without additional fees, any further services that are necessary to bring this suit to a conclusion in state court or via settlement.’  See Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Market Place, LLC 350 F.3d 691, 694 (7th Cir. 2003).”  

Enough said.