Clerk's Corner A Legal Parable



Once upon a time, a young associate at a prestigious Kansas City firm worked diligently on suggestions in opposition to a Daubert motion. She observed the CM/ECF response date of July 19 but alertly sought to verify it. Referring to the new time computation

Ann Thompson
standards in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, she counted the weekends and the holiday and arrived at a July 15 deadline. Worried about missing the shorter deadline, the young lawyer whisked the draft off to the client asking for immediate late-night approval.

This was the prudent course, but it gave rise to an early morning call from client to partner that was less than enthusiastic. The wise partner called the Clerk’s Office and asked about the July 19 date in CM/ECF. She was reminded that Rule 6(d) adds three days to each deadline under the old concept of regular mail and that the three-day addition applies even with electronic service. Mystery solved.

The moral of the story for the associate: Before billing a lot of your time on a time computation matter, call the Clerk’s Office. Of course, it’s better to risk client irritation than to miss a filing deadline, and we applaud any attorney who doesn’t rely solely on system-calculated dates – as required. But if you can get accurate information that means a few extra days to work on your brief and you can avoid irritating the client, a phone call starts to look pretty good. The Clerk’s Office does not give legal advice, but we will always share the basis for CM/ECF data or direct counsel to applicable rules or procedures. 

Google can tell you what Lindsay Lohan had for dinner in jail or who won the ESPY for “Best Upset,” but if you have a logistical question about filings in federal court, give us a call at (816) 512-5000. We’ll be glad to help you.





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