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Dodgers ownership trial is set for August 30th

Mar 31, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

The McCourts’ ownership saga was set to go to trial this spring, but was recently kicked. Yesterday the judge set the shindig to being on August 30th. It should take 11 days, but some off days were included in the schedule so it will be stretched out over a month, ending on September 30th, with a decision set to come within 90 days of that.

So, assuming the Dodgers are in the playoff race, it should make for a nice and enjoyable stretch run.

  1. ditmars1929 - Mar 31, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Craig, why do these things take so long? I’m sure the lawyers have to do a lot of background research and have other cases on their plates, but a delay from spring to the end of summer followed by a 90-day decision period sounds ridiculous. Why is this being dragged out so long? Just curious

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Mar 31, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Mostly a function of the judge’s docket, I’d say. When a case is filed a trial date is generated. If it needs to be rescheduled — and matters of any complexity almost always are — the judge has to go to his calender and find open dates. Except dates fill up continually as new cases are filed every day. If a trial date is rescheduled six months after a case is filed, there are close to six months worth of new cases that have made their way on the judge’s calendar since then.
    Add to this the fact that the “speedy trial” requirements of the Constitution mean that criminal cases take precedence over civil cases. Add to this the fact that the lawyers have other cases and trials (and in the summer, vacations) and the little meeting in which the judge asks everyone to get out their calendars to reschedule a trial becomes quite an ordeal.
    Soapbox time: judges have literally thousands of cases on their docket at any given time. Even if only a fraction of them are truly active, the fact remains that our court system is severely overtaxed. Thank (a) our increasingly litigious society; and (b) our “get tough on crime” politicians who have decided that every kid with a bag of weed is now clogging up our courts and jails for this state of affairs.
    All of this leads to the advice I used to give most of my clients when I was practicing: dear god, don’t sue anyone. It’ll just be a pain in the ass.

  3. Old Gator - Mar 31, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Because, among other things, it’s not the only case on the docket, and much as they try to be intellectual octopi there’s only so many of these a judge can handle before his or her sciatica flares up from sitting there for interminable hours listening to the droning of lawyers. Sciatica is a funny thing, and you’re never quite sure if it’s the sitting itself or the ennui that sets it off.
    If the judge has already met either one of them, it’s highly possible that he shoved it way back on the schedule so that he goes on a long-scheduled vacation immediately after it’s over. That’ll give him plenty of time to heal up the muscles over his rib cage after the effort of suppressing giggles every day for a month.
    In any case judges are human too (sorry, Craig, but it’s true) and there are only so many of them to handle the caseloads – whereas, unfortunately, there seems to be no end to the number of lawyers out there (and this is not without taking into account the fact that a judge is just a lawyer who kissed all the right asses). How does that joke go – why are lawyers more cost-efficient to experiment with and vivisect than lab rats? I think the reasons were: they multiply faster than rats, can be readily trained to do things no rat would ever do, and the graduate assistants don’t get emotionally attached to them. As Craig will tell you, there’s still plenty of work to be done on the problem of alopecia.

  4. BC - Mar 31, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Let’s put it this way. I’m not a millionaire, nor do I own 7 houses and a baseball team, nor did my ex-wife want to run for President. And all of my divorce proceedings, the discovery, conferences, all these other legal proceedings for which I do not know the term, took a total of 7 months elapsed time up until “the day”. And the actual time spent in court? 25 minutes. So take my experience, and multiply it in complexity by 1000, and make it 10 times more contentious and nasty… and with that, you have eggroll. It’s just the way the system works, unfortunately.

  5. ditmars1929 - Mar 31, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Craig, thanks for that explanation. Quite logical and I appreciate it.
    Gator, thanks for your input too. That was logical compared to the usual nonsense that you post on this board.
    BC, thanks also, and I’m very sorry about your divorce and the fact that you don’t own a baseball team.

  6. BC - Mar 31, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    If I owned a baseball team she’d have ended up with half anyway. At least I ended up with the whole cat.

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