Recently attorney Bryan Erman of Dallas requested to postpone a civil trial over a stock transaction because the proceeding would take place in Kansas City two weeks before his wife is scheduled go give birth. After a lawyer for the plaintiffs objected, Judge Eric F. Melgren granted the continuance, and issued an unusually passionate order. From the New York Times:
It opens ominously with the suggestion that the lawyers opposing the delay are the unhappy sort who "lose sight of their role as professionals, and personalize the dispute; converting the parties' disagreement into a lawyers' spat."
The judge proceeded to quote Shakespeare on the proper comportment of legal adversaries, who "drive mightily, but eat and drink as friends" and noted the "famous disregard" that newborns have for schedules. "For reasons of good taste which should be (though apparently, are not) too obvious to explain," Judge Melgren declined, with jurisprudential delicacy, to address arguments made in the opposing brief about the date of conception.
Judge Melgren concluded, "Defendants' motion is granted. The Ermans are congratulated."