How Can You Avoid Missing Court Dates?
1. Taking of depositions
2. Deadlines for legal filings
3. Court dates and times and anything else related to legal matters.
For most attorneys that’s enough to make sure they keep up with all their scheduled court dates.
The Office Manager
In some law firms, in addition to legal case management software there is a person on staff that is tasked with providing timely reminders and updates to busy attorneys to ensure they are prepared and on time for all of their court dates. In some law firms this is handled by an office manager. In other firms a receptionist, paralegal or someone else on staff is charged with the responsibility of making sure no attorney with the firm ever misses a court date. Most attorney’s also have effective systems they use to keep track of when and where they need to appear in court.
The judicial system also has systems in place to ensure the attorney of record on each case is notified well in advance of when they are to appear in court. Not only is the date of the next court appearance announced in the court room, the office of the director of State Courts also sends out notices to attorneys with cases before the court letting them know when they must return to court. For most attorneys that is enough to make them aware of an upcoming court date. Plus with all the technology available today attorneys are usually able to send themselves email and alarm reminders the day before they’re to appear in court.
Attorneys for whom law firm case management software or a staff member is not available to provide them with timely reminders, they can also get access to other resources to make sure they never miss a court date through the Legal Information Institute. This organization is a resource attorneys can use to get specialized help related to a wide range of legal issues. This type of resource can be especially helpful to attorneys working with smaller firms with less support staff. Used in conjunction with email and other reminders, the support this institute offers can be very helpful.
Missing a court date can do irreparable damage to an attorney’s reputation. It can make them look unprofessional in the eyes of the court and weaken the client’s confidence in the attorney and the firm they represent. Missing a court date unless there is a dire emergency is unacceptable if you are an attorney. People’s lives, freedom and livelihoods often hang in the balance when they go to court. For the attorney of record not to be present without notifying the court and the client in advance can be a serious problem that could result in them being censured.
In law school attorneys depend on to help them with cases, but being present to argue their cases is always their responsibility. Whether they need to rely on law firm case management software, some other type of electronic reminders or a staff member to make sure they’re in court when they’re scheduled to be present, it’s the attorney’s responsibility to put that system in place before hand. Almost every attorney has had a conflict in their schedule that forced them to miss or be late for a court date. Professional ethics demands in such cases the attorney make the necessary arrangements to ensure both the court and the client is aware and not blindsided and inconvenienced by the attorney’s failure to appear..