Coleman Presents Timeline

Yesterday the Franken Campaign presented their pre-litigation timeline, and today the Coleman campaign responded:

Appellants agree this is a time-sensitive case that should be resolved as expeditiously as possible, Appellants respectfully submit, however, that the parties, and the Court, must be given enough time to fully develop and consider the issues on appeal. Accordingly, Appellants respectfully request a slight modification to the briefing schedule proposed by Respondent as follows:

1. Opening brief of Appellants - April 30, 2009;

2. Opposition brief of Respondent - May 11, 2009; and

3. Reply brief - May 15, 2009.

The Court may then schedule oral argument at a time convenient to it.

Dated: April 22, 2009

Source: Appellants' Response to Respondent's Motion for Expedited Schedule via [PDF]

The schedule above concludes on May 15th, a Friday, which seems to suggest that oral arguments would begin the following Monday, May 18th. The Coleman timeline is about two weeks longer than Franken's timeline; this discrepancy manifests itself at each stage of the pre-litigation process. It appears as though the Coleman campaign wants 3 more days to file their initial brief, above and beyond the schedule already outlined by the Franken campaign. It's also interesting to note that the Coleman schedule allows about ten days for the Franken response, while the Franken campaign only indicated that they would need five days. The Coleman campaign also increased their reply time by two days beyond Franken's proposition.

It would make sense for the court to grant Coleman the additional time he is requesting for his own case, but to follow the schedule presented by Franken for deadlines that apply to Franken. It doesn't make sense to allocate ten days when they (Franken) said they could do it in five. I think the court will ultimately compromise between the two campaign's requests; thus resulting in an oral argument start date of May 11th.

The Franken campaign also filed a motion with the MN Supreme Court today, although theirs was comparatively meaningless:

David L Lillehaug does hereby move the Court, pursuant to Minn. R Civ. App, P 127 and 143.05, subd. 1, for admission of Marc E. Elias and Kevin J. Hamilton as attorneys pro hac vice to appear before this honorable Court on behalf of Respondent Al Franken in the above-captioned matter, This motion is based upon all files, records and proceedings herein, as well as the attached Affidavits of Marc E. Elias and Kevin J. Hamilton.

This motion is submitted on the papers, and oral argument is expressly waived.

Dated: April 22, 2009

Source: Respondents's Motion to Admit Attorney's Pro Hac Vice via [PDF]

Marc Elias and Kevin Hamilton both actively participated in the Election Contest Court; this is simply a procedural motion that will grant these two attorneys the privilege of practicing law before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Marc Elias is registered with the DC Bar, while Kevin Hamilton is registered with the Washington State Bar.

The MN Supreme Court will probably present the official appeal timeline/schedule within the next few days at which point the litigation process begins, again, although slightly different in nature and much shorter.

Update [3:47 AM CT 4/24/2009]: The Supreme Court has granted Franken's request for the admission of two lawyers pro hac vice. This order really isn't a suprise, but I guess it brings the resolution just a little closer:


Based upon all the files, records and proceedings herein,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion of David L Lillehaug to admit Marc E. Elias and Kevin J. Hamilton, Perkins Coie, LLP, pro hac vice in the above entitled matter be, and the same is, granted.

Dated: April 23, 2009

Source: Order Granting Motion to Admit Attorneys Pro Hac Vice via [PDF]

The bulk of the proceedings will occur out of court, through the exchange of filings, and will culminate with oral arguments presented by each campaign in public court. In previous MN Supreme Court cases relating to this election, the oral arguments have been scheduled for a single hour; the court may however allocate more time as they deem necessary. This is not a typical trial format, once the oral arguments conclude, the court will deliberate until a decision is reached. The schedule will effectively dictate the duration of the trial, unfortunately the court has not released their final timeline; but I'm sure its in the works.

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