Friday, March 05, 2004

Spell-Checking Only Goes So Far....

The New York Times describes a federal magistrate's displeasure with a lawyer's pleadings, a sample of which follows:
Had the defendants not tired to paper plaintiff's counsel to death, some type would not have occurred. Furthermore, there have been omissions by the defendants, thus they should not case stones.
The magistrate reduced the lawyer's request for fees on the basis of the errors.
In one letter, Mr. Puricelli had given the magistrate's first name as Jacon, not Jacob.

"I appreciate the elevation to what sounds like a character in `The Lord of the Rings,' " Magistrate Hart wrote, "but, alas, I am only a judge."
Almost simultaneously, according to the same article, a federal appeals judge scolded a lawyer for his composition skills:
"While I appreciate a zealous advocate as much as anyone, such techniques, which really amount to a written form of shouting, are simply inappropriate in an appellate brief," Judge Orme continued. "It is counterproductive for counsel to litter his brief with burdensome material such as "WRONG! WRONG ANALYSIS! WRONG RESULT! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!"
But at $150 or more per hour, what can you really expect.... (Seriously, though, some of us lawyer types write pretty well.)


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