The Importance of Local Rules
In depth knowledge of Local Rules is an invaluable asset in all stages of litigation. While there are uniform rules that govern a state or federal court, there are often Local Rules that can vary by county or federal district (Not to mention courtroom procedures, which can vary by judge). Lack of familiarity with the specific rules can waste resources and even derail a case.
One example of the importance of knowing the Local Rules can be seen in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Recently New Jersey Bankruptcy Courts released a new set of Local Rules, the first rule changes in over a decade. One change was the manner in which continuance requests must be made. While this may seem like a small procedural speed bump, it has consequences for the uninitiated. Pursuant to this rule, an adjournment request must be submitted three days before the scheduled hearing, and must be made on a specific form. The rule also governs to whom the request must be sent. An adjournment request in a Chapter 13 must be submitted to the Chapter 13 trustee, while a request in a Chapter 7 or 11 must be made to chambers. Failure to follow all of the steps could cost you an unnecessary trip to court.
This is one small example of the value of knowing the Local Rules. At Mester & Schwartz, we have experience working in a variety of state courts and throughout the districts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our experience allows for effective representation across all stages of litigation, focused on providing the best outcome for our clients.