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June 6, 2009

"Perceived poor drafting should not be regarded as a licence to invalidate plaintext readings in the name of fixing a statute that some believe is broken."

So said the Fifth Circuit in an interesting BAPCA case, interpreting the "hanging paragraph" at some length. I'm not a bankruptcy person (nor do I want to be one!), but it is an interesting case, Miller v. DaimlerChrysler Financial Serv., ___ F.3d __ (5th Cir. Jun. 5, 2009).


It emphasizes the Supreme Court's holdings that, even with an ungrammatical, awkward, and sometimes incomplete statute, plain language controls over "equity" and, I would argue, common sense.  I wonder about the efficiencies served by the rigid textual plain language approach the court adopts with a statute like BAPCA, that is cobbled together and known to have problems...

June 6, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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