Incomprehensibly Unprofessional Follow-up

In a previous post I tried to draw some lessons on professionalism from a judge’s reaction to a motion filled with typographical, punctuation and grammatical errors. I don’t think I can do the same with this one from Legal Writing Prof Blog

The New York Law Journal is reporting (subscription only) that a New York state judge dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint because it was stapled in such a negligent manner that it caused physical injury to all who handled it.

“[T]he poor stapling of the papers was so negligent as to inflict, and did inflict repeatedly, physical injury to the court personnel handling them,” Supreme Court Justice Charles J. Markey wrote in Jones v. Fuentes, 29865/2008. “Such negligence on the part of counsel shows a lack of consideration.”

Long Island plaintiff’s attorney Jeffrey Hirsch told the NYLJ that in the more than 5,000 cases he has handled, the court has never before criticized his stapling skills. However, a spokesperson for the judge said that the staple in question was dangerous enough to draw blood, twice.

Certainly I stand by my statement in the previous post that professionalism requires attention to detail. The danger of staples is well known. Many courts require, for example that briefs bound with staples have the staples covered with heavy tape. However, without knowing the back story on this one, it’s hard to justify dismissal of a motion based on the stapling! Be that as it may, be forewarned – professionalism requires attention to details and apparently those details include staples.

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  • […] As professionals we must strive to eliminate sloppiness from everything we do in our professionals lives. I encourage my students and all praticing paralegals to maintain professionalism even in emails and other communications that are done at work or relate to work. We cannot be correct 100% of the time. (I now have one kind hearted reader who proofreads most of my posts and emails me when I need to make a correction,) but the standards for court pleadings are high as discussed in previous posts here. […]

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