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Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., No. 08-56667

By FindLaw Staff on November 04, 2010 11:44 AM

Denial of Extension of Time to File Brief Reversed

In Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., No. 08-56667, plaintiff's appeal from the district court's denial of plaintiff's request for an extension of time to oppose defendant's summary judgment motion, the court reversed where the district court abused its discretion in denying both the request for an extension of time and the motion to accept the late-filed opposition, and erred in granting defendants' motion for summary judgment and in awarding attorneys' fees to defense counsel, because plaintiff's counsel clearly demonstrated good cause.

As the court wrote:  "Procedure "is a means to an end, not an end in itself-the 'handmaid rather than the mistress' of justice." Charles E. Clark, History, Systems and Functions of Pleading, 11 Va. L.Rev. 517, 542 (1925). While district courts enjoy a wide latitude of discretion in case management, this discretion is circumscribed by the courts' overriding obligation to construe and administer the procedural rules so as "to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding." Fed.R.Civ.P. 1. These consolidated appeals arise from a district court's refusal to exercise discretion consistent with the dictates of Rule 1."

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