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What You Can Do if You’re About to Miss a Deadline

Work is piling up, unexpected emergencies happen, and you are trying your best to meet every deadline. Unfortunately, that is hard to do in most cases. However, if you are working at a law firm, there are preventive steps you can take to prepare for potential emergencies or unexpected, immediate deadlines.

Set Yourself Up for Success

No matter how hard you try, you may still miss deadlines. However, if you don’t set yourself up for success, you could be doing yourself a disservice. Missing a deadline could lead to dire consequences such as:

  • A case being dismissed;
  • Sanctions handed down by the court;
  • Your reputation is tarnished; and,
  • A severe infraction, such as being disbarred.

By doing everything you can to ensure that you meet a deadline, you will not have to worry about the potential penalties listed above.

Set Up a System

Organization is key, no matter the work circumstances. If you are looking for ideas to keep organized, here are some tips:

  • Create a daily or weekly schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This can help ensure that you're devoting enough time to each task and can help prevent things from falling through the cracks.
  • Declutter your workspace. This helps eliminate any distractions that might prevent you from getting work done.
  • Technology. Technological apps or programs can automatically set reminders or monitor productivity to help you stay on track.

Organization can help reduce stress, free up time, and improve work performance. So if you're feeling overwhelmed or falling behind, take the above steps to get more organized.

Understanding the Deadline

Is the deadline a “true” deadline or one that can be extended? Find out if a deadline must be met by a given date or if it can be extended. The court clerk will provide you with guidance if a deadline can be extended or not.

Seek a Stipulated Extension

A stipulated extension is an agreement that allows you more time to complete a task. This is typically given when there are extenuating circumstances, such as if you're dealing with a personal emergency or have been assigned a last-minute project. In most cases, a stipulated extension will be given in writing so that both parties have documentation of the agreement. If you're granted a stipulated extension, make sure to follow through on your end and complete the task by the new deadline.

Other Reliefs from the Court

In extreme cases, the opposing counsel or court may be understanding of your need to extend a deadline. A court will typically have a procedure in place for potential deadline extensions, so check with your local court to see if your circumstances apply to a request for an extension.

Don’t Lie About Your Situation

This is essential to everyone involved in your case. While it may be difficult to share, it is best to be honest about your situation, why you may miss a deadline, and what you are doing to finish your tasks as soon as possible. Do not hide or lie about your circumstances, as that will only worsen your situation. Everyone is human, and mistakes happen — being upfront about your situation is your best course of action.

Utilize Concierge or Other Service Agencies

One way to avoid any potentially missed deadline is to use a process server agency or similar organization to complete and submit your documents. The team at Commercial Process Serving, Inc. can help you complete your project — whether that’s submitting documents to a local court, other eFiling needs, eRecording, records retrieval, or more. See what Commercial Process Serving, Inc. can do for you by reaching out to us online or by phone. (855) 973-0833