Next Time, Make Them Play the Game of Life!

It’s funny how litigators argue over the most minor things.A perennial source of unchecked petty lawyer impulses is the location and timing of depositions.

It has to be on “my turf” or — at worst — a “neutral location.”

For some, traveling to opposing counsel’s office for a deposition is akin to the French surrendering at a certain historic railway car in Compiegne.

How humiliating!

That’s why MD FL Judge Presnell seems to get it:

Faced with the inability of two bickering attorneys to resolve even the most innocuous scheduling questions without his intervention, a Florida federal judge yesterday ordered the two to meet on the steps of the federal courthouse and resolve their latest quarrel by playing “one (1) game of ‘rock, paper, scissors.’ ” (Read the ruling.)

Judge Gregory A. Presnell of Orlando ordered the unusual measure, which he characterized as “a new form of alternative dispute resolution,” after the two Tampa attorneys had proven unable to agree upon where to hold a deposition, even though both of their offices are just four floors away in the very same building in Tampa. Defense attorney D. Lee Craig, of Butler Pappas Weihmuller Katz Craig, proposed holding the deposition in his office, but plaintiffs’ attorney David J. Pettinato of Merlin Law Group wanted it to take place at the court reporter’s office down the street.

Which is more humiliating — “capitulating” to a juvenile power game played by opposing counsel and going to their office for a deposition, or having a federal judge order you to play “rock, paper, scissors” to resolve this inane discovery dispute?