“Pregnant litigators already have enough to worry about without trial dates getting in the way of due dates.
So Houston state district Judge Ravi Sandill recently issued a standing order that grants expecting lawyers an automatic continuance of a trial setting in his court for up to 120 days before the birth or adoption of a child.
“We did it for a couple of reasons,” said Sandill, judge of Harris County’s 127th District Court. “For one, it’s the right thing to do. And secondly — I think most judges do this already — but it alleviates anxiety for lawyers.”
Sandill said he came up with the idea after reading about Christen E. Luikart, a pregnant Florida lawyer whose motion for continuance sparked controversy last month after her opposing counsel objected to it — just as the Florida Supreme Court is weighing a proposed rule that would create a presumption that pregnant lawyers should get three-month continuances.
“After reading about that, I thought if we could push this, leading by example is not a bad thing for the practice,’’ Sandill said of his order.”
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