Lawyers Now Obligated to Provide Copy of Everything Delivered to Judge
How many times have we showed up to a hearing and discovered that something was delivered to a judge but not copied to us as well? On several occasions, I have had lawyers claim that they had no obligation to deliver me a copy of the transcript they had ordered because I could go and purchase it myself from the court reporter. Sometimes the court reporter will contact the non-ordering attorney and ask them if they would like a copy. Sometimes they don’t. What happens if you show up at a hearing and discover that the opposition has ordered a transcript and had it delivered to the judge, but a copy was never delivered to you?
First off, immediately ask for a continuance of the hearing. If you don’t ask for a continuance because of any problem that occurs before hearing, you generally waive arguing that the judge should not have gone forward with the hearing. Take the position that the failure to have a transcript is highly prejudicial to your preparing for the hearing. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, claiming prejudice in preparing for or opposing a hearing is almost always a good argument that will be successful. Then cite the recent Florida 4th DCA opinion of Goldberg v. Law Office of Sara Lawrence, P.A. for the premise that 100% of all materials provided to a judge under rule 12.490 must be copied to the other side. That includes transcripts! In the Goldberg case, exceptions to a magistrate’s report were denied because transcripts have not been provided prior to the hearing. In footnote 1 of the opinion, the decision states: “…, we emphasize that under the rule it was the petitioner who bore the burden of providing the transcripts to all parties…” Thus, failing to provide a copy of everything given to a judge would seem to violate this rule and opinion.
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