Got Pregnant to Delay Trial? No, You Didn't Just Say That
Paul T. Reid was not the pregnant lawyer in the courtroom, but he definitely left a hearing in an uncomfortable pregnant moment.
He had objected to a continuance requested by opposing counsel, who said she needed time off for her pregnancy. She asked for eight weeks, and the judge gave it to her.
But it sounded to some like the BigLaw partner accused the small-firm attorney of using her pregnancy to delay trial. He did NOT just say that, did he?
Oh, No He Didn't
Reid, of Shook Hardy & Bacon, said a continuance would prejudice his client. The case had already dragged on for years, and another "exceptionally long" continuance would be a hardship.
"Your honor, I implore you to read the objection to my motion to continue," attorney Christen Luikart responded. "He not only compares my pregnancy to an illness, he minimizes my role as lead counsel."
Reid suggested another attorney from her firm could take over. Judge Cymonie Rowe brushed that aside, and spoke directly to the plaintiff and his attorney.
"I don't believe Ms. Luikart got pregnant in response to this case," the judge said. "I do believe that Ms. Luikart is entitled to have some time for her to deliver her child ... I would treat all counsel the same."
Oh, Yes He Did
Above the Law, a legal watchdog like no other, said Reid suggested Luikart got pregnant in an attempt "to further delay the proceedings."
Reid says people are taking his comments out of context. Of course, what else could he say when there's a court record? Ambien made him do it?
Jennifer Richardson, president of the Florida Bar Association, was outraged. She said the implication that women get pregnant to delay trials is "completely ridiculous and absurd."
In any case, Reid left a big question hanging in the courtroom after his objection. Now he is answering for it.
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