On Blaming the Paralegal for the Calendar Mistake – Tentative from Judge Barash

I always cringe when I hear an attorney apologize for being late or filing something late and using the excuse of “it was miscalendared.”  I cringe because it has happened to me a time or two but you hear it so often that you think judges are going to stop accepting the excuse at all.  Judge Martin Barash in Woodland Hills posted a nice tentative on the issue:

Calendaring mistakes happen.  However, the Court notes its general view that calendaring mistakes are not, per se, excusable neglect.  The Court finds particularly unpersuasive the sort of explanation provided here: that someone else (in this case a paralegal) miscalendared a status conference.  Attorneys may look to others to assist with calendaring matters, but they do so at their own peril.  Ultimately, it is the attorney – the individual who is licensed to practice law – who bears the responsibility for keeping track of the deadlines set by the Court and by applicable law.  Fortunately, in this instance, the consequences were not more serious, and the Court will excuse counsel’s failure to appear.  However, the Court’s decision to do so should not be viewed as precedent of any kind, and any future failure to appear by the counsel involved here likely will not be viewed favorably.

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