Thursday, August 18, 2011
Desktop document editing software is expanding the modes of presentation available to motion writers. Many motions, in both state and federal court, now include full color photographs embedded in the text. For those who want to explore this development with students, both the Dallas Mavericks and Manny Pacquiao have recently filed entertaining photo motions in two high profile sports related cases. The motions are available here and here. The Mavericks’ Motion for Summary Judgment uses a photo of the Mavs on the championship podium last season to counter claims that Mark Cuban is mismanaging the team. Pacquiao’s Motion for Sanctions uses photos that are purportedly of Floyd Mayweather partying while allegedly not complying with discovery obligations. I am not convinced of the merits of the Mavericks’ motion, but it is an excellent example of a court filing as a public relations vehicle. And anytime you get to file a motion with a picture of Dirk holding the championship trophy, I think you have already won (no disrespect to Heat fans).
Is the photo motion trend a good thing for legal writing? Are pictures really worth 1000 words? I am convinced that the Mavericks' photo is worth the space, but what about Pacquiao’s photo montage? Effective or gratuitous?