government and defendants challenged the court's authority to
place time limits on various stages of the trial of an action
charging defendants with criminal tax fraud.
Prosecution determined the trial would take a month.
was convinced that this time was excessive.
thought the prosecution made little effort in organizing tax
returns to streamline their presentation.
scheduling order was designed to give the US 10 days to present
started to move along as the prosecutions time began to run
Recognizes the power and duty of the court to
cumulative evidence or evidence which
more time than its
probative value justifies.
Commands the court to "exercise
reasonable control over the mode and order of
interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence, so as to (1)
make the interrogation and presentation effective for the
ascertainment of the truth, [and] (2)
avoid needless consumption of
- Courts Duty and Power to Manage
It is fundamental that a court has the
power and duty to manage
its docket and the individual cases before it to "secure
fairness in administration, [and]
elimination of unjustifiable
expense and delay."
Modern courts recognize that the court's time is "a public
commodity which should not be squandered."
Public resources are squandered if judicial proceedings are
allowed to proliferate beyond reasonable bounds.
The public's right to a "just, speedy, and inexpensive
determination of every action" is infringed, if a court allows a
case, civil or criminal, to preempt more than its reasonable
share of the court's time.
Judge vs. Attorneys Perspective
The perspectives of the court and the attorneys in trying a case
A judge wants to reach a just result in the case and to do so
expeditiously and economically.
An attorney's primary concern is to WIN the case.
Setting time Limits
Setting a reasonable time limit forces counsel to conform their
zeal to the need of the court to conserve its time and
Properly streamlined, the case is more effective for the
ascertainment of truth, as mandated by Fed.R.Evid. 611(a).
This court holds that it has the power to impose reasonable time
limits on the trial of both civil and criminal cases
in the exercise of its
Of course, the court must analyze each case carefully to assure
that the time limits set are not arbitrary.