. . . had no more teeth bared as of last Thursday than did the local federal courthouse, where the Panel held its most recent round of oral arguments. Before imPaneled delves too deeply into any particular proceeding, a few highlights will serve as an appetizer:
- Without explanation, the clerk’s office asked counsel to sign in at 8:00–90 minutes before the initial argument–rather than 8:30, which has been the recent standard. Conspiracy theorists posit that the move was intended to limit the widespread evening socializing that has preceded the last several hearings, thanks in part to our good friends in the claims administration business. (Note to those friends: Don’t let them push you around. Turn it up at future hearings.)
- Judge Vratil ably presided in Judge Heyburn’s absence. Coincidentally or not, their Honors’ questioning was more pointed than usual.
- As to that pointed questioning, in two instances–to be identified in future posts–the Panel substantially accused defendants arguing against consolidation of groundlessly pressing a “divide and conquer” strategy. imPaneled welcomes such plain speaking to what others might generally perceive to be bland arguments. In an ideal world, these hearings would be so dramatic and entertaining they would have to be held in sports arenas rather than courtrooms.
More to come soon . . . or at least soonish.