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Monday, February 10, 2014

Ind. Courts - Above the Law Disses 7th Circuit; and the Kicker!

This Joe Patrice post today in Above the Law is headed "Seventh Circuit Thinks Its Lawyers Are Really Stupid." The post talks at length about:

.... the court’s new guide to typography. The federal rules say remarkably little about typeface, and the Seventh Circuit was having none of that vagueness. But instead of making a simple, concrete rule to guarantee that lawyers submit something that won’t make the judges — or their clerks — bleed profusely from the eyes, they churned out seven pages of pedantically detailed instructions. They even explain the difference between 12-point and 14-point fonts using many more words than “the second one is bigger.” Apparently the Seventh Circuit cares more about encouraging clean typefaces than efficient writing. [ILB emphasis]
The post goes on and on and on, quoting at length from the 7 pages of instructions. But there is no link to the document.

I expect the writer is referring to the "Guidelines for Briefs & Other Papers," a link found here, in the column headed "Guides" on the 7th Circuit homepage, and titled "REQUIREMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR TYPOGRAPHY IN BRIEFS AND OTHER PAPERS." This document IS indeed 7 pages long and contains the information quoted in the blog post. I believe, however, that it is NOT new, but has been available on the 7th Circuit homepage for quite some time. (Another useful document found there is a 45-page article titled "Painting with print: Incorporating concepts of typographic and layout design into the text of legal writing documents.")

The Kicker. Thinking that much of this seemed familiar, I searched the ILB and found that on Oct. 5, 2012, the ILB wrote: "Joe Palazzolo of the WSJ Law Blog quotes today from the 7th Circuit's guidance for what fonts to use in briefs." Palazzolo was also quoting from the 7-page document, which seems to have been around for at least that long, if not much longer.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 10, 2014 07:05 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts