Q: What can I do about opposing counsel who won't participate in the case management meeting?
M.D.Florida I hired an attorney on contingency but he dumped my case a year into it so am left to recover my wages on my own. The other side filed a motion to dismiss and asked to stay discovery, pretrial events, and filing an answer pending a ruling on the motion. That was almost 3 months ago and still no ruling. I have tried unsuccessfully to schedule case management because after a week of ignoring my emails to set a time OC said "sure you can call anytime, it won't take but a few minutes, I have no idea what you want to discuss". I asked for clarification and told him we needed to discuss a schedule for discovery and other pretrial events but said no because he requested a stay. Since there is no rule or law that supports an automatic stay upon request or on a pending MTD, OC is not justified in his refusal to cooperate so what can I do to obtain his participation in a case management meeting and discovery?
A: When you need some type of relief for any situation arising during the proceedings, you first, in writing, seek agreement from opposing counsel, and if you don't amicably resolve the issue, you file a motion asking the Court to order the relief you seek. However, you would be very foolish to to represent yourself in this type of case unless it's totally impossible for you retain counsel. If you happen to have a case that no attorney will touch for the fee/cost arrangement that you desire, then you should fully analyze the reasons they can't touch it and the risks to you for going forward with the suit (get a full explanation of same if you have not already). If, after determining that it's impossible to retain counsel and determining that the risks to you are worth it, you must read and fully understand the entire set of rules applicable to the Court you are in (in Federal Court, the Fed. Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules for your district, which are on-line). Those rules set forth the requirements for presenting motions.
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