What To Do About Docket Creep?

I almost envy those folks who practice in jurisdictions with short statutes of limitations and fast-moving dockets. In my state, Connecticut, docket creep is the norm. You can't get some judges to act even by pleading with them. Cases linger seemingly forever.
I have a couple of federal civil rights actions on the docket of one judge in particular. He's a lifetime appointee with decidedly eccentric views of what is reasonable. A decade or so ago, I won an illegal search case in his courtroom. The jury awarded my client all of a dollar in damages, but I was entitled to attorney's fees. I submitted an application for about $5,700 for this very simple case.
The judge thought that was unreasonable, so he awarded a fee he thought consonant with the verdict: One-third the gross proceed of the litigation, or thirty-three cents. I am sure he thought it was funny. 
Only someone with lifetime employment could make such a ruling. 
I wrote the judge awhile back asking him to docket two of my cases for trial. They have been sitting for a long time with no activity of any sort. In one case, a defense motion for summary judgment has been denied; in another no motion was filed. The discovery deadlines have long since passed.
I was polite in my letter. My clients simply want their day in court. What am I supposed to tell them in their semi-annual calls? I've run out of excuses for a court that won't act.
I am beginning to wonder whether there is some deeper meaning to the judge's award of a thirty-three cent fee. Perhaps it wasn't malicious or twisted at all. Perhaps that is the judge's assessment of an honest day's work. It sure looks that way based on the court's inability to call my two cases.
I wonder if the judge will refund to taxpayers any salary he thinks he has taken but not earned. 

Comments: (4)

  • Another problem is all of those televisions progra...
    Another problem is all of those televisions programs. The client comes to the attorney during the first 15 minutes of the show and goes to trial in the last 15 minutes. The inference is that trials occur fairly quickly after filing, maybe within weeks or months. Of course no real court docket moves that fast, nor can the attorneys prepare that fast.
    Posted on August 10, 2010 at 9:20 am by Ray Sipsa
  • NEWS FLASH: Alaska senator Ted Stevens has died in...
    NEWS FLASH: Alaska senator Ted Stevens has died in a plane crash in SW Alaska. See what I mean? The Law of Karma supersedes the laws of Man every time. And none too soon. Of course, I would not wish this tragic outcome on any federal judge or appellate justice in Amerika?!?
    Senator Ted Stevens was 'one of the longest serving politicians' in Congress, and one of the most exemplary, we note in passing. Our sympathies to the family.
    Posted on August 10, 2010 at 8:45 am by William Doriss
  • Let me guess: This essay is about Federal Judge Ro...
    Let me guess: This essay is about Federal Judge Robert 'Docket-Creep' Shot-Knee, the nominee for Sonia SootyMayor's 2nd Circuit seat, now vacant since her elevation to the toothless, dysfunctional Paper-Tiger/Supremely Incompetent and Irrelevant Court of the U.S of A.
    Although I never met him, this creep for a judge threw out my own federal civil rights complaint--after sitting on it for a year and half--illegally, unlawfully and against all reasonable precedent. I have been communicating with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) who has privately informed me that he will bury this creep and Doddo Bird crony from the UnKonstitution State, a state in serious Denial.
    The State Superior courts in CT are also a joke and a charade, as previously posted by me a dozen times. You do not want to go there, even when invited!?! You do not know who you might run into. A well-connected moron in robes who took six tries to pass the bar exam and lip-syncs the Bill of Rights because he/she cannot remember the words.
    May he be cursed with double knee replacements, to be followed by double hip replacements. I believe in Karma,... with a 'k'. What goes around, comes around; and in the end, you get yours, one way or t'other. I was raised 'by hand', at home, the old fashioned way--not by the State of Incompetence, Fraud-upon-the-Public, and Corruption.
    Posted on August 10, 2010 at 7:53 am by William Doriss
  • Pattis touches on something about judges the avera...
    Pattis touches on something about judges the average citizen who does not come into contact with them much doesn't realize. Here's a few of my observations and conclusions acquired while engaged in pro se lawsuits over past years:
    (1) You hear a lot of babble about the integrity of the legal system. But there's no integrity of the legal system without integrity of judges;
    (2) There's two kinds of judges: (a) criminal and corrupt judges, and (b) judges who observe criminal and corrupt judges;
    (2) The terrible twos is an appropriate description of the so-called judicial temperament for many judges;
    (3) Many judges have deep-seated prejudices they act on. In my case, judges were severely prejudiced against me because I had the the power of logic, the skill of adding two and two, the moral motivation, and unquestioned legal basis for filing a criminal complaint against coporate lawyers stealing thousands of dollars of medical films of mine meant for an operation on my neck;
    (4) In one hearing, the judge amused himself and the criminal corporate lawyers who were defendants in a lawsuit of mine by doing everything he could to dance around the central issue, namely, the theft of my property. When I raised this central issue, the judge threatened to have me put in jail. The judge thought he was making a judge joke. But the judge was a joke. I have accused this judge by name of taking a bribe from the corporate law firm.
    I'd name names (which I have in other places), but Norm P. likes to keep away from this. Most of my experiences took place in the Bridgeport Superior Court on Main Street, but I don't presume they are confined to this notoriously corrupt courthouse. A while ago a Madoff civil case was moved from it upon motions from defense lawyers after they received information from me about how corrupt the courthouse was. Not only do outsiders know how courrupt the courthouse is, but so do those working in it.
    Posted on August 10, 2010 at 4:20 am by Henry Berry

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