Jacksonville Bar Association

Scheduling, Continuances, and Extensions of Time

  1. Attorneys are encouraged to communicate with opposing counsel prior to scheduling depositions, hearings and other proceedings, in order to schedule them at times that are mutually convenient for all interested persons. Alternatively, if an attorney does not communicate with opposing counsel prior to scheduling a deposition or hearing, the attorney should be willing to reschedule that deposition or hearing if the time selected is inconvenient for opposing counsel.
  2. Upon receiving an inquiry concerning a proposed time for a hearing, deposition, meeting, or other proceeding, a lawyer should promptly agree to the proposal or offer a counter suggestion that is as close in time as is reasonably possible.
  3. A lawyer should call potential scheduling conflicts or problems to the attention of those affected, including the court or tribunal, as soon as they become apparent to the lawyer.
  4. Attorneys should cooperate with each other when conflicts and calendar changes are necessary and requested.
  5. Counsel should never request a calendar change or misrepresent a conflict in order to obtain an advantage or delay. However, in the practice of law, emergencies affecting our families or our professional commitments will arise which create conflicts and make requests inevitable. We should be cooperative with each other whenever possible in agreement to calendar changes, and should make such request of other counsel only when absolutely necessary.
  6. Attorneys should endeavor to provide opposing counsel, parties, witnesses, and other affected persons, sufficient notice of depositions, hearings and other proceedings, except upon agreement of counsel, in an emergency, or in other circumstances compelling more expedited scheduling.
  7. When scheduling hearings and other adjudicative proceedings, a lawyer should request an amount of time that is truly calculated to permit full and fair presentation of the matter to be adjudicated and to permit equal response by the lawyer’s adversary.
  8. A lawyer should accede to all reasonable requests for scheduling, rescheduling, cancellations, extensions, and postponements that do not prejudice the client’s opportunity for full, fair and prompt consideration and adjudication of the client’s claim or defense.
  9. First requests for reasonable extensions of time to respond to litigation deadlines, whether relating to pleadings, discovery or motions, should ordinarily by granted between counsel as a matter of courtesy unless time is of the essence.
  10. After a first extension, any additional requests for time should be dealt with by balancing the need for expedition against the deference one should ordinarily give to an opponent’s schedule of professional and personal engagements, the reasonableness of the length of extension requested, the opponent’s willingness to grant reciprocal extensions, the time actually needed for the task, and whether it is likely a court would grant the extension if asked to do so.
  11. A lawyer should advise clients against the strategy of granting no time extensions for the sake of appearing “tough.”
  12. A lawyer should not seek extensions or continuances or refuse to grant them for the purpose of harassment or prolonging litigation.
  13. A lawyer should not attach to extensions unfair and extraneous conditions. A lawyer is entitled to impose conditions such as preserving the right to seek reciprocal scheduling concessions. However, a lawyer should not, by granting extensions, seek to preclude an opponent’s substantive rights, such as his or her right to move against a complaint.
  14. A lawyer should not request rescheduling, cancellations, extensions, or postponements without legitimate reasons and never solely for the purpose of delay or obtaining unfair advantage.

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