Rough and Tumble: How Not to Deal With Opposing Counsel

Recently I received a brief in a matter from opposing counsel.  It took me somewhat by surprise to find a petition, brief, and twelve attached exhibits on my desk on a Monday morning, since I had spoken with opposing counsel just the week before in regards to the case and we had engaged in some settlement discussions.  Without going into a large amount of detail, and in order to preserve my client’s confidences, the issue here is a petition to open a default judgment on their end, which requires (1) promptly filing the petition, (2) stating a reasonable excuse for the delay, and (3) alleging facts in support of a meritorious defense.  On those facts, the insurer’s attorney and I were having productive conversations about liability, default judgments, the hassle and expense of either fighting to open the judgment on their end or domesticating our judgment on our end, and were beginning to get close to coming to a numbers agreement.

Then the motherfucker, without warning, filed his petition and brief.  Thus hell was unleashed upon the court.  Goddamn these soulless insurance defense attorneys, if they’d just stop fighting and fucking pay me we’d get along a lot better.

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