By now, you’ve probably read about Stacy Ehrisman, the Georgia attorney who filed a judicial complaint against immigration judge J. Daniel Pelletier after he denied her unopposed continuance request due to maternity leave and then berated her when she showed up with her four-week old infant in tow. Lots of female commenters – Staci Zaretsky, Above the Law, Alaina Sullivan, freelance attorney, Modvive and Caitlin White, MTV – took the judge to task for sexism – both for refusing to accommodate Ehrisman’s schedule and humiliating her in the courtroom.
But was the judge a sexist? I’m not so sure. Law is an uncertain business and there are never guarantees that a request for a continuance will be granted, even when it’s unopposed. All lawyers – and solos in particular, who often struggle to find back up – deal with this kind of uncertainty every day. But until we start using technology to cut down on the number of onerous and useless in-person scheduling conferences that run up client bills (geez, why not just use Doodle?), juggling court dates is always just a little like Russian Roulette. My guess is that most lawyers, male or female, requesting family based leave from Judge Pelletier could expect the same result as Ehrisman received.
- See more at: http://myshingle.com/2014/10/articles/work-life-balance/denying-solo-lawyers-motion-continuance-due-maternity-leave-sexist-worse/#sthash.mRHKCjtR.dpuf