Listen, I have a lot of residual Catholic guilt rattling around in my head, so the “I’m not mad, just disappointed” tact works particularly well on me. But even without that baggage, you can hear the utter dismay of South District of New York Judge Paul Engelmayer dripping off of the page.
In Johnson v. Everyrealm Inc, plaintiff’s attorney Shane Seppinni requested a three-week adjournment on the matter from opposing counsel from Proskauer as his wife had unexpectedly gone into labor and delivered their child. Instead of recognizing the medical emergency that Seppinni is going through, the Biglaw attorneys attempted to extract concessions, not only in the current case but other cases against the same client currently in arbitration, saying, “they are ‘only willing’ to consent to the three-week adjournment requested by Mr. Seppinni if Mr. Seppinni meets five demands, only two of which relate to this litigation; the others relate to three separate lawsuits, now in arbitration, which Mr. Seppinni brought against Everyrealm on behalf of other clients.”
Let’s just say Judge Engelmayer is NOT pleased with the conditions the Biglaw attorneys tried to extract:
The Court congratulates Mr. Seppinni and his family on the birth of their child and wishes Mr. Seppinni’ s wife a speedy and full recovery. The Court reminds defense counsel of the expectation of the judges in this District that counsel will comport themselves with decency. Counsel’s attempt to exploit a moment of obvious personal exigency to extract concessions from Mr. Seppinni, in other litigations no less, was unprofessional. The Court expects better.
And Seppinni will get the time off to be with his family:
The Court unconditionally grants Mr. Seppinni’s request for a three-week adjournment for his opposition….This order is without prejudice to Mr. Seppinni’s right, in the event of continuing medical complications, to seek a further extension of these deadlines, as Mr. Seppinni’s email to the Court suggests may become necessary.
You can read the full order below, if you can stand the secondhand disappointment.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @Kathryn1@mastodon.social.