« Ind. Courts - State of Indiana v. International Business Machines Corp. is now scheduled for oral argument for Monday, February 13 at 9:00 a.m. | Main | Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 13 NFP) »

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ind. Decisions - "Plaintiff’s counsel needlessly complicated the Court’s task of summarizing the relevant facts."

That is a quote from the beginning of a footnote on p. 2 of an 11/17/11 opinion by federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. The entire footnote:

Plaintiff’s counsel needlessly complicated the Court’s task of summarizing the relevant facts. Local Rule 56.1(b) requires non-movants to include a “Statement of Material Facts in Dispute” that responds to the movant’s asserted material facts “by identifying the potentially determinative facts and factual disputes which the nonmoving party contends demonstrate that there is a dispute of fact precluding summary judgment.” L.R. 56.1(b). Rather than identifying potential factual disputes in a concise fashion, Plaintiff’s counsel unfurled an 18-page narrative that is replete with argument and a 15-page surreply that is no better as it contains a great deal of immaterial information. (Dkt. 73 at 13) (“Perhaps Defendants would prefer the Court to require Plaintiff to use the unduly prolix and passive voice that most grammarians find to be an anathema to the Plain English movement that started in the Michigan Bar some 25 years ago.”); (Dkt. 73 at 7) (“There is no need to root around like a pig searching for a mushroom, only to use a mouse to click on the relevant portion of a deposition transcript.”). And, for reasons that remain unclear, the brief devotes a paragraph to explaining the 15th century origin of the phrase “cat’s paw,” a legal doctrine that is inapplicable to the present matter. (Dkt. 73 at 2-3). Accordingly, the Court had unnecessary difficulty excising the arguments from the facts when piecing together the background section.
The opinion was highlighted in the Legal Writing Prof Blog on Jan. 23. The ABA Journal today picks it up and adds context.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 25, 2012 11:01 AM
Posted to Ind Fed D.Ct. Decisions