Thursday, October 28, 2010

Judge responds in rhyme to 465 (!) page complaint.

An attorney filed a 465 page complaint (including an 8 page title!) in a Washington state federal district court against defendant GMAC Mortgage, et al. whom, not surprisingly, responded with a Motion for a More Definite Statement.  In support of his order granting defendants' motion, Judge Leighton cited to Shakespeare for the proposition that "brevity is [not only] the soul of wit," it's also the soul of effective pleading.  The judge recommended that plaintiff's counsel read Bryan Garner's "The Elements of Legal Style."  Finally, the judge ended his order with the following rhyme:

Plaintiff has a great deal to say,
But it seems he skipped Rule 8(a),
His Complaint is too long,
Which renders it wrong,
Please re-write and re-file today.

If you ask me, the plaintiff's attorney got off easy.

You can read Judge Leighton's full order here.

Thanks to and a big hat tip to Rob Hudson, librarian extraordinaire.


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