Here’s the quiz: have a look at the linked scheduling order from a Minnesota State Court. What do you notice? (No Waldo, incidentally.)
Notice how the imposed civil court deadlines track the Judeo-Christian American holiday schedule! Thanksgiving anyone? See you in 2012! Christmas/Hanukah? Maybe not this year. Trial is set for early January.
Cynics and/or conspiracy theorists may point to such schedules as proof of a court’s subtle “settlement-encouragement.”
Also of note, the “dispositive motion hearing deadline” is set for October and the “non-dispositive motion deadline” is set for 12/26/2011 (Boxing Day!).
For the uninitiated, this means that motions to decide the case entirely and definitively are to be argued in October but the deadline for less encompassing motions (for example, a motion to compel production of evidence) is two months later.
Some may note that this seems bass-ackwards. How is a litigant to bring its dispositive motion when non-dispositive motions are still unresolved? Answers: (1) the later non-dispositive motion is a “no later than” date, not a “not before” date so litigants can bring non-dispositive motions before dispositive motion deadline if they need to; (2) many dispositive motions can be “locked, loaded, and fired” before any discovery, not just before all discovery so it makes no difference; (3) the dispositive motion deadline must be back-dated from the trial date for the judge to have the time to decide the motion(s) and stay on track for the New Year Trial (if the judge denies the dispositive motions).