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Friday, April 24, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Judge Kanne on the use of "plead" and "pled"; "The use of 'pled' in our recent case was not accidental." [Updated]

On Monday the ILB had a post titled "Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today; and the AP stylebook on 'pled.'"

Th opinion was USA v. Kenneth Sandidge, the 7th Circuit judge was Judge Michael Kanne. After the case summary, the ILB added this note:

"Appellant Kenneth Sandidge pled guilty" - the ILB would not have mentioned this except for the recent @APStylebook tweet:
AP Style tip: It's plead, pleaded, pleading. Do not use the colloquial past tense form, pled.
This morning the ILB heard from Judge Kanne...

It was a pleasant, informative note; I was delighted to learn that Judge Kanne is an ILB reader:

Dear Ms. Oddi,

I read with interest your comment on April 20, 2015, regarding our use of the term "pled" in the above referenced case. As you note, the "AP Stylebook" for journalists indicates that "pleaded" is the correct past tense term, and that the use of the "colloquial" term "pled" is incorrect. Significantly, however, the AP guidance represents only one point of view.

Our chambers style guide indicates my preference for the use of "pled". This direction is consistent with, for example, "The Blue Book on Grammar and Punctuation" ("GrammarBook.com" blog) which indicates that the use of either "pled" or "pleaded" is permissible.

The use of "pled" in our recent case was not accidental. My law clerks have been instructed for over 25 years in our chambers guide to use "pled" not "pleaded" in preparing draft opinions for my review. I must also say, however, that my position on this matter is not universally held among the judges on the 7th Circuit. Googling "pled or pleaded" provides an interesting cross section of views on the use of "pled".

In any event, I thank you for the excellent contribution your blog provides to the legal community in Indiana and throughout the country. Best wishes for continued success.

MS Kanne

[Updated at 1:30 PM] The ILB has just been reminded of its Jan. 17, 2013 post, "Pleaded or Plead: Which is More Prevalent in Indiana Appellate Opinions?" by Prof. Joel Schumm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 24, 2015 01:03 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions