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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit: More on "Much of (Maksym's) writing is little more than gibberish"

Updating yesterday's entry, Prof. Eric Rasmusen from IU's Kelley School sends along this note:

Hi, Marcia.

I saw your post on the 7th circuit chastising a lawyer. You can add this link, to the opinion which does it. It's fun reading--- but only towards the end, where they critique the lawyer's writing in detail.

H. Stanard v. Keith Nygren

And it's not even Posner or Easterbrook!

And today Staci Zaretsky of Above the Law has a long, rambling, and very entertaining entry on the opinion, headed "Benchslap of the Day: A Billy Madison Style Rambling, Incoherent Complaint." A sample:
Apparently the courts in Illinois operate under a “three strikes and you’re out” theory of law, and on appeal to the Seventh Circuit, Judge Diane Sykes was one mean umpire. * * *

Judge Sykes then broke down Maksym’s errors, one by one, in bullet-point fashion. We’ve included a sampling of the best ones here for your enjoyment:

  • Lack of punctuation. At least 23 sentences contained 100 or more words. This includes sentences of 385, 345, and 291 words but does not include sentences set off with multiple subsections.
  • Near incomprehensibility. Much of the writing is little more than gibberish.
  • Grammatical and syntactical errors. The district court put it best: “The grammatical and spelling errors” are “too numerous to add ‘[sic]’ where required.”
Have you ever seen a 345-word sentence before? Neither have I… until now. Judge Sykes included this trainwreck of a sentence in a footnote that spanned three pages, noting that “Maksym’s complaint is far outside the bounds of acceptable legal writing.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 21, 2011 12:34 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions