You ever load up your calendar for the month of December because you just knew that those cases would settle and then you'd magically have free time? And then, when the cases didn't settle or go away, you were left wondering why you were so optimistic.
Well, the good news is that you still have time to clear your calendar, even if you can't actually move any of the dates getting in the way of you having a real holiday vacation. Below are five tips on how to just clear that calendar.
1. Don't Wait, Delegate
Do you have junior associates? Can your admin, secretary, or paralegal handle it? If so, don't wait, delegate it to someone else who probably doesn't want to be there either but has to because you have seniority or authority. Yes, it may seem like an abuse of authority to pile the work on those that have to be there, but that's what paying dues is all about.
2. Appearance Attorneys Anonymous
If you have a court appearance that isn't mission critical, you can send a lowly appearance attorney. Usually, the earlier you book, the better deal you'll get. Also, the more likely you'll be able to actually talk to the attorney appearing on your behalf. Protip: You may want to touch bases with your client to find out if they plan on appearing so that you can prep the appearance attorney properly.
3. Email, Apologize, Reschedule, Repeat
If it's not a court date, or other inflexible appointment, an email with an apology and a request to reschedule is simple enough. Don't bother with an excuse unless someone calls you out, then explain that you are trying to take a few days of vacation. Even the neediest of clients should understand the need for some rest and relaxation over the holidays.
4. We Can Skype It Out
If you just want to avoid coming into the office, or court, you can potentially appear by phone to the court (rules permitting), or offer to videoconference with your client or meeting attendee. With the prevalence of video chat apps, most clients will have some platform that can be used. And while this may be a bit on the informal side, during the holidays, there's some leeway for the formality (unless you have a real scrooge of a client or boss).
5. Stipulate and Pray
If you have a relatively minor court date, like a scheduling conference, or even a motion hearing, if you can get your opposing counsel to stipulate to move the date and get a date from the court clerk that'll work, there's a good chance that even a late filed requested stip and order will get approved. Otherwise, you're probably stuck.
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