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Family Law Tip of the Week: Civility and Apologies - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: May 11, 2017

By Mag. Kimberly Dean Mattingly, Marion Superior Court

This week’s theme: Civility and the Lost Art of the Apology
First, please read Drew Bloch’s blog article on our website. Then share it with every lawyer in your office or on your Facebook friends list. Then read it again. Then print it and share it with all of your clients. Treat it like professional gospel, and read it once per week.
Next, add these items to the list:

  1. Do not mark a hearing off your calendar until an Order Continuing or Order Vacating it has been signed. Although you can file a Motion to Continue at midnight, it still has to be processed by humans who do not report to work until 8 a.m. (I speak only for Marion County, of course). Those humans are not authorized to grant such a motion and the ones who are may still deny it, even if there is no objection.
  2. Don’t bury requests for relief in the body of your document that are not included in the title. Yes, I’ll read every word of your motion when it first comes in, but I may only look at the CCS to prepare for the hearing and not remember that some additional issue was plead a month ago.
  3. If you fail to do any of these things, APOLOGIZE. Do this immediately, and make it sound like you mean it. Propose a solution and/or offer assurance that it won’t happen again.

All you have is your reputation; don’t create one that causes your colleagues to dread dealing with you. Or worse, causes judicial officers to dread seeing your name on their dockets.

Stay tuned for a new tip next week!

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