05-30-2009, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Total Cats: 1,528
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Exasperated judge resorts to child's game
By The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge, miffed at the inability of opposing attorneys to agree on even the slightest details of a lawsuit, ordered them to settle their latest dispute with a game of rock, paper, scissors.
The argument was over a location to take the sworn statement of a witness in an insurance lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell scolded both sides and ordered them to meet at a neutral location at 4 p.m. June 30 to play a round of the hand-gesture game often used to settle childhood disputes. If they can't agree on the neutral location, he said, they'll play on the steps of the federal courthouse.
The winner gets to choose the location for the witness statement.
"We're going to have to do it," said David Pettinato, lead attorney for the plaintiff, Avista Management. "I guess I'd better bone up on rock, paper, scissors rules."
Last year, officials of the auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's engaged in the game to decide who would get to sell a $17.8 million collection of art offered by a Japanese electronics company.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company
Source: The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Exasperated judge resorts to child's game
The actual ruling, by Judge Gregory Presnell from the Middle District of Florida:
Upon consideration of the Motion – the latest in a series of Gordian knots that the parties have been unable to untangle without enlisting the assistance of the federal courts – it is ORDERED that said Motion is DENIED. Instead, the Court will fashion a new form of alternative dispute resolution, to wit: at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, June 30, 2006, counsel shall convene at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If counsel cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida Ave., Tampa, Florida 33602. Each lawyer shall be entitled to be accompanied by one paralegal who shall act as an attendant and witness. At that time and location, counsel shall engage in one (1) game of "rock, paper, scissors." The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location for the 30(b)(6) deposition to be held somewhere in Hillsborough County during the period July 11-12, 2006.