Friday, April 24, 2015

No Words

Another story of a litigant who tried to evade word limits has made the rounds this week on social media and is now being covered by the ABA Journal.

We've seen litigants try to place information in footnotes to get around word and page limits and modify spacing, fonts, and formatting. This litigant, however, took it to extremes by, for example, eliminating spacing in citations. One cite should have read 

Thorner v. Sony Computer Entm't Am. LLC, 669 F.3d 1362, 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2012)

but instead read


Had the litigant apologized and offered to file a compliant brief, the case might not have been dismissed. Instead, the litigant's proffered amended brief also was non-compliant because the litigant again attempted to skirt the word limits by replacing case citations in the brief with abbreviations, such as TOA1, that referred the reader to the citation in the Table of Authorities.

This case is particularly egregious and, in the Federal Circuit's opinion, warranted dismissal. We see litigants chastized frequently for this type of behavior (which you'd think would be enough to convince others not to try it). An outright dismissal is pretty rare though, I think, appropriate in this case.

Happy Friday!

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