Filing “Notice of Unavailability” during litigation

An effective tool of management is to assure that you are allowed to have your vacation without surprise attacks from your opposing counsel. When in litigation, preparing and filing with the Court (and serving opposing counsel) a “Notice of Unavailability” will go a long way to prevent sudden motions or deposition settings, etc. when you plan to be out of town for more than a few days.

This idea came to me in the late 1990s; it was not commonly used and most people never heard of it at the time. Something in the last few days brought the idea back to me. I asked the question on a couple of listservs whether anyone ever heard of this Motion, whether anyone was using this approach. I was pleased to see that lawyers from States as diverse as California, Florida, Georgia, New York and others seem to be aware of this procedure and some courts even have formal rules providing for such procedures.

Though still not widely discussed, this is a good technique to manage one’s priorities and control one’s own time … Take the time for “renewal” (sometimes otherwise called “vacation”) without worrying about someone back home seeking to take advantage of you and your client during your temporary absence from the office.


Categorized in: