This may seem like a simple enough task — you’re in state court and both sides want to push the trial back a couple of months so that a key witness can be available to testify. You file a joint motion to continue. How can this possibly go wrong?
You may want to pay close attention to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.545(e). That rule provides that “[a]ll motions for continuance shall be in writing unless made at a trial and, except for good cause shown, shall be signed by the party requesting the continuance.” At first glance, you may assume that it is enough that you sign the motion as the party’s lawyer; after all, you represent them, don’t you?
But that’s precisely why most judges interpret this rule to require the signature of the party that you represent. After all, as the lawyer filing a motion, you’re already required to sign it, aren’t you? Because Rule 2.545 appears to impose an additional requirement that the motion for continuance be signed by “the party,” most judges hold that this means that the lawyer’s signature on the motion is not enough — the client must sign off on the requested continuance also.
Better safe than sorry — have the client’s signed consent appear on any motion for continuance.