United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi.
Carlton W. Reeves, District Judge .
Carlton W. Reeves United States District Judge
4:04 in the afternoon on Halloween-about the time people with
kids were wondering if the weather would hold out for
trick-or-treating. Attorney Joel Dillard was working. He was
trying to plan out Carol Hester's case.
a security guard for the local public school district,
claimed she was paid less than a less-experienced man for the
same work. Dillard thought he was on to something.
The evidence he had gathered showed a pay disparity. But he
needed more time to write his summary judgment briefs.
4:04, Dillard sent a courteous email to the attorney for the
school district, Steve Lacey:
Hi Steve, I'm noticing that the deadline for
oppositions to dispositive motions falls right after
Thanksgiving, and I already know I'm going to need
additional time. I also expect that you may want more than 7
days for reply briefing - particularly in late December. How
would you feel about a December 18th deadline for the
Opposition and January 11th deadline for the Reply?
Also, if you anticipate needing more than 35 pages for
the memoranda, let me know what you'd like. Ideally
I'd love to give the Court an agreed order on these
issues before the briefing begins.
didn't respond that day or the day after. He didn't
respond the next week. In fact, he never responded at all.
That was not nice. Instead, right on the November 15
deadline, Lacey filed four motions for summary judgment and
four supporting memoranda. The filings spanned 977
pages of evidence and 87 pages of argument.
Dillard wanted more time before seeing this
voluminous submission, he would definitely want more time
didn't delay. Eleven minutes after Lacey finished filing,
Dillard moved for an extension. He sought about three
additional weeks for his responses (to December 18) and even
requested extra time for Lacey to file reply briefs (to
January 11). Dillard also requested that the response and
reply briefs be consolidated and extended to 50 pages per
side. Dillard attached his email to Lacey and noted the
however, then went further. He also sought the Court's
permission to file a cross-motion for summary judgment. This
was a request he had never broached with Lacey. And this
request apparently crossed some sort of red line.
irritated Lacey called the Magistrate Judge's chambers.
He said he was very opposed to Dillard's motion
and asked the Magistrate Judge to hold off on ruling so that
he could re-spond. His heated opposition brief followed three
days later-on a Sunday night. In it, Lacey argued that any
extension, of time or of pages, would be “substantially
prejudicial, ” “unjust, ” and
“inappropriate.” He didn't just object, he
point, the Court decided to intervene. On November 20, the
Court entered an Order asking Lacey to clarify whether he had
ever responded to Dillard's first email. Lacey admitted
that he had not. He “did not find the requests
reasonable or necessary.” On ...