Fixing Missed Litigation Deadline.

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Checklist of Actions to Take if You Miss the Deadline

If you miss a court or statutory deadline, here is a ten point action checklist for you. This checklist will you give you a course of positive actions.

1. Don't panic

If you just found out about the problem of a missed deadline, take the time for a cup of coffee or a walk around the block to give yourself the time to think rationally and carefully and s_l_o_w_l_y.

Until you have taken those few minutes by yourself, don't rush around talking to anyone. Don't talk to anyone. Fifteen minutes is not going to make much difference (unless the deadline is 20 minutes away, and you can get to the courthouse in 20 minutes with the document to be filed).

When emotions are in control, people tend to overlook a possible available option.

It is almost impossible not to have an emotional reaction when you have that first knowledge that the deadline has passed. But emotion is not going to help you. Thinking will help you. By focusing on the following nine action items of this checklist, one by one, you will have changed an emotional reaction into a course of positive actions.

Although you must not panic, don't fall into a state of do-nothing bliss. The matter of your missing the deadline must be your priority to which you apply full attention until it is resolved. In short, although you do not panic, don't avoid panic by the technique of wearing rose-colored glasses.

2. Confirm whether the deadline was for "Serving" or "Filing or "Issuing"

Be sure what the deadline was for. For example, in federal court and many state courts, an answer must be "served" (but not filed) within a certain period after service on a defendant. As another example, in many state courts, the complaint has to be "filed with the court", or a summons "issued by the clerk," within a statutory period, (but the "service" of the process or of the complaint may come later.) ...Read Full Article »

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