Sunday, November 12, 2006

a supra-irritated judge

A federal judge's recent memorandum opinion took lawyers to task for their lack of care in citing authority. In Capital Yacht Club v. Vessel AVIVA, 2006 WL 2792679 at *2 n. 5 (D.D.C. Sept. 27, 2006), District Judge Ricardo Urbina chastised counsel for their "sloppy submissions":

It is almost as if the parties' counsel have together devised an entirely new legal writing style, complete with a rule favoring citation to bad law in place of citation to good law, and a wholesale rejection of the Bluebook in favor of their own not-so-uniform system of citation. Although the court finds this parallel universe of legal advocacy entertaining, it now longs for the traditional methods of representation: citations to good law and utilization of the ubiquitous Bluebook.

Westlaw's link to the ill-favored plaintiff's brief reveals citations that (horrors!) use supra as the short-form for a case citation, lack pinpoint page references, use "D.N.Y." as the abbreviation for the Southern District of New York, and tack "et al." to a party's name.

The court reconsidered its previous ruling granting a motion to dismiss and ruled that the parties could resubmit their dispositive motions, which "must include thorough legal analyses of their positions with relevant case law and properly bluebooked case citations." 2006 WL 2792679 at *1 n. 3.

(cmb)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2006/11/a_suprairritate.html

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Comments

I was pretty sure I knew who posted this even when I'd just seen it on the RSS feed! Never ever never use supra in legal writing! You get 'em, Prof. Barger! It's been a good 10 years since legal research and writing but that's one of the indelible lessons that I've retained.

Posted by: david (former cmb student) | Nov 12, 2006 4:06:27 PM

And I bet I know which "David" this is, too!
Glad to hear that something stuck!
Hope all is well with you. Drop by if you are in Little Rock and near the building.
Coleen (you can call me that now; it's been long enough)

Posted by: Coleen Barger | Nov 15, 2006 5:55:05 PM

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