Legal Ethics

Federal Judge's Standing Order Fines Firm $500/Day for Late Filing, Requires Explanation to Clients


A federal judge in Newark has lost patience with a New Jersey law firm’s “habitual” late filing of briefs in Social Security appellate matters.

So she imposed a standing order at the beginning of the month requiring Langton & Alter to pay $500 a day for future late fillings, as well as an apparent $13,500 fine in the case at bar, in which a brief was filed 27 business days after the due date, reports the New Jersey Law Journal.

The Sept. 1 ruling by U.S. District Judge Faith Hochberg in Gomez v. Commissioner of Social Security also requires the law firm to explain to clients with cases before her that they will be dismissed if the lawyers violate court rules and file a certification with her court that the explanation has been made.

The legal publication attempted without success to reach the firm’s partners for comment this week.

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