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Exxon hearing, trial postponed

A motions hearing scheduled for today was postponed in a mass-action lawsuit filed by Jacksonville residents against Exxon Mobil Corp. for a 25,000-gallon-plus leak at a local gas station in early 2006.

Lawyers on both sides have a bit more time to iron out their pre-trial issues, however — in July, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Susan Souder agreed to revise the case’s scheduling order, making the trial’s new start date Oct. 4, 2010. The case is estimated to end Feb. 28, 2011. 

The trial had been set for January, and Souder said during the July hearing the delay would also help ensure full staffing of the daily docket. Two of Souder’s colleagues, John O. Hennegan and Lawrence R. Daniels, announced earlier this year they would be retiring when their terms expire in November.

Because of the size of the case  — more than 400 plaintiffs, represented by The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos — you can always tell when a hearing is scheduled: the daily Circuit Court docket online grows to 25 or more pages (compared to five or six on a typical day) and the docket shown on video boards in the courthouse balloons to more than 50 pages (compared to a dozen or so pages normally).