Lawyers Not Only Speak Differently, They Count Differently and They Go to Court to Fight Over How a Period of Time Should Be Counted
When a lawyer, judge, law or rule requires the counting of a period of time, it may not be done the same way that you would count the time period. For example, are either of the first and last day of the period included or excluded? Are you counting forward or backward?
When a lawyer, judge, law or rule requires the counting of a period before an event is to occur, for example, if something must occur 45 days before a date set for a trial to start, the first day of the 45 days is included, and the last day of the period, the day the trial is set, for example, is excluded. “No later than” means “on or before” to a lawyer or judge or in law or rule. For example, two days prior to Friday is Wednesday (i.e. the last day of the period, Friday, is not counted). R.T.G. Furniture Corp. v. Coates, 93 So 3d 1151 (Fla. 4th DCA 2102).
When a lawyer, judge, law or rule requires the counting of a period after an event has occurred, for example, if something must occur 20 days after an event takes place, the day of the event is excluded, but the last day of the period is included. Fla. R. Admin. P. 2.514. For example, if you are served with a lawsuit, start counting the day after the date of service of process to compute when your answer is due.
If you wish to discuss how time is counted for your legal matter with a St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, Commercial Litigation Lawyer, you can contact Howard P. Ross, Esq., B.C.S, The Florida Bar Board Certified in Business Litigation and Civil Trial Law.