Rambling Writing

I’ve posted before about the importance of writing right. My students know that I frequently and repeatedly (perhaps incessantly) discuss the importance of being able to writing clearly and concisely, pointing out the word and page limits on filings in Federal Courts. The results (in terms of the papers and pleadings I receive) indicate that they do not take these admonitions seriously. So this from ABAJournal.com is for them (and any working paralegals of the same ilk):

7th Circuit Zaps Lawyer for Exceeding 14K Word Limit in Brief, Summarily OKs Lower Court Decision

n a blistering opinion (PDF) today, a federal appeals court not only stated or implied that a lawyer had been untruthful in his certification that a brief met the 14,000-word limit but criticized his “rambling” writing.

Then, saying that any further effort by appellant attorney John Caudill to file a brief that complied with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules would be pointless, a three-judge panel summarily affirmed the district court decision in the case.

While it did not dismiss the appeal as a sanction for Caudill’s certification that the brief was within the word limit, it has the power to do so, the court said in a six-page ruling authored by Judge Richard Posner:

“The flagrancy of the violation in this case might well justify the dismissal of the appeal: let this be a warning. But in addition it is plain from the briefs that the appeal has no merit. To allow time for the appellants to file a compliant brief and the appellees to file a revised brief in response, and to reschedule oral argument, would merely delay the inevitable.”




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