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Act 68: Extending the Deadline

On February 28, 2002, my lawyer and Taubman's lawyer both filed motions to extend the deadline for filing dispositive motions.

A "dispositive motion," for those of you who are fortunate enough to never have been exposed to the term, is (according to the local rules of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan) "a motion for injunctive relief, for judgment on the pleadings, for summary judgment, to dismiss or quash an indictment..." The definition goes on, but you get the idea: it's a motion asking the court to "dispose" of something.

In this particular situation, I suspect that the dispositive motions in question are primarily motions for summary judgment.

A motion for "summary judgment" is one in which you ask the judge to rule on the case (rather than allowing it to go to trial) on the grounds that no facts are in dispute, only matters of law. I gather that it's fairly standard procedure to file a motion for summary judgment – after all, there's nothing to lose. (If the motion is denied, the case continues; if the motion is granted, you've won the case.) I know that we're planning to file a motion for summary judgment, and I assume that Taubman is planning to file one as well.

But it turns out that neither of us wants to submit our motions by the deadline set by Judge Zatkoff (March 8, 2002). My lawyer (Paul Levy) wants a one-week extension to compensate for the ten days he spent trying to negotiate a settlement. Taubman's lawyer (Julie Greenberg) wants to extend the deadline until the Court of Appeals has a chance to reach decisions on the motions we've submitted to them.

The judge ruled in our favor, by the way – and I suppose I should be pleased (winning is typically better than losing), but I must confess that I don't fully understand the legal implications of the decision, so I probably shouldn't react at all. Instead, I'll provide these links so you can peruse the source documents (in a separate window) at your leisure.

Our Motion and Brief

Taubman's Motion and Brief

The Judge's Order


Next: Taubman Moves to Amend the Complaint

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©2002 Hank Mishkoff
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