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Calendar Snafu Leads to Default Entered Against Wachovia in Securities Case

The South Florida Lawyers blog reports that the auction rate securities action filed against Wachovia in federal court in Florida is, well, going poorly for the defendant at the moment.

How poorly?

On March 9, SFL says, Judge James Lawrence King entered -- sua sponte -- a default against Wachovia for failing to file a response to plaintiff's Amended Complaint in the case. The next day, a Birmingham, Ala., lawyer for Wachovia named Carl S. Burkhalter filed a motion to set aside the default, explaining that a perfect storm involving the resignation of his associate and the unexplained failure of an email "auto-forward" function from the associate's email account to his secretary led to the date for defendant's Answer to the Amended Complaint not being entered on his calendar. Burkhalter said that he was "profoundly sorry" for the oversight.

Obviously a painful motion to have had to write.

Is plaintiffs counsel feeling a fellow lawyer's pain and letting Burkhalter off the hook here, you might ask?


SFL notes that plaintiff has now asked the court to deny the pending motion to set aside the default, arguing that it "ignore[s] the fact that two other current Wachovia lawyers were served with the Order and Amended Complaint. Thus, the Motion sets forth no good cause for their -– or Wachovia’s -– failure to timely respond."

Posted by Bruce Carton on March 19, 2011 at 04:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)


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