Tuesday, January 4, 2011
What's the Proper Deadline?
A party loses a trial in federal district court. It wants a new trial. It claims that winner hid important documents in discovery and failed to disclose an important witness. What is the deadline for the new trial motion? 28 days under Fed. Civ. P. rule 59(a)--general error--or one year under rule 60(b)(3)--fraud. Massachusetts federal District Judge Patti B. Saris did not decide the issue. The motion was filed more than a year after the judgment. Christina Pazzanese of the Dolan Company--our friends who publish Lawyers USA and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly--wrote about this ambiguity in the Rules. To read her article on the web one must subscribe to one of those Dolan publications.