Friday, May 16, 2008

This issue became moot when [defendant] filed it’s unopposed motion to
withdraw it’s Eleventh Amendment immunity assertions.

How do people get all the way through law school without understanding its v. it's? Misuse of either should result in automatic bar failure.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Plaintiffs rely on [affiant's] affidavit which is not only inadmissible
hearsay, it is incorrect.

Counsellor, I can excuse a failure to pair "not only" with "but also." It happens, though I don't like it. You have also, however, managed to generate both a comma splice and a comma omission in the same sentence. Wow.

Monday, April 21, 2008

No vernacular. Please.

Initially, it is beyond curious that a buyer, acting through a trust, buys
property for all cash, no contingencies, days after the death of a former owner,
without offers or counter-offers, no escrow, and no title. In today's
vernacular, “What's up with that?”

Stop trying to be cute! The law is not cute. Lawyers are not cute, nor are briefs. Accept it and move forward. Counsellor, you will then realize that there is no reason to say "What's up with that" in a brief.

Excluding historical linguistic analysis and possibly a few other contexts, "today's vernacular" is generally redundant.

You just tried to get too fancy, counsellor.

"This belies the falsity of the [habeas] applicant's tape-recorder claim."


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Many of us grieve our employment decisions daily.

[The] County has adopted policy and procedures for grieving adverse
employment decisions.

Yes, there is a procedure. You can remember it with the helpful mnemonic DABDA1: First you're in Denial about the adverse employment decision. Then you get Angry about the adverse employment decision. You begin to Bargain with God/boss about the adverse employment decision. Eventually you become Depressed about the adverse employment discrimination, but eventually you will Accept the adverse employment decision. It's a long process, but you just have to work through it.

1 I can't say I ever expected to find myself linking to for wisdom on death.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's not a pinata, but it's still pretty sweet.

Oh, pinatas. Often I think back on the pinata brief, fondly of course. Such good times, so many laughs. [A video montage of my feelings on this matter would be set to the song "This used to be my playground." But that is neither here nor there.]

I miss the pinata brief. And while bad writing is everywhere, sometimes it lacks panache. I find myself wistfully sighing, "Where have all the pinatas gone?" I've tried, with some success, to recapture the joy it brought me. In my darker moments, I think that I will never see another piece of legal writing so melodramatic, so poetically overwritten as that.

But like that last swing at the pinata, after several whiffs, finally connecting when you thought you'd again be the laughingstock of all the kids at the party, this single sentence brings me hope:

"On November 29, plaintiff declared the legal equivalent of nuclear war by serving its first amended complaint on defendant."

So simple, so good.

And I'm sure you're wondering, What, what absolutely egregious legal maneuver, beyond all bounds of legal legitimacy, did plaintiff do? With the benefit of the entire (not that interesting) brief, I can enlighten you, gentle reader: Pretty much just serving a complaint. About real estate. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

There should be a cause of action for this.

These highly individualized claims are unique to each plaintiff.

Intentional infliction of unnecessary words.

Friday, February 1, 2008

And now he has inflicted it on us.

"He has inflicted this self inflicted wound on himself."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The use of "clearly" never bodes well:
Clearly, on the basis of these individuals' own sworn statements, their claims are vastly different and not similar at all.

One cliche is worth...

"One accurate document is worth a million false ones (actually much more)."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Where to begin?

The Second segment of uncompensated occurs during the Plaintiffs uncompensated thirty (30) minute meal/rest break.. Defendant's have deliberately instituted a time keeping system which forces Plaintiffs to work during their 30 minute rest period for no compensation.

Originally, I inserted "sic"s. But the quote just became too visually cluttered. So instead, LWW offers this passage as a Wednesday morning challenge: Can you find five grammatical errors in the above?

Friday, January 4, 2008

It's a small point, really.

Counsellor, I understand you're busy. You have many things on your mind. You have footnotes to drop, cases to cite, parentheticals to craft. Perhaps the details slip through the cracks. I also understand that spellcheck does not review words in all caps, because it believes they're acronyms.

Nonetheless, please do whatever is necessary not to type "breif" in the title of your brief.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Make utilization of this.

I hate "utilize." It has no purpose but to make a sentence longer and less clear. There is virtually no situation in which "utilize" would not better be "use."1 "Make use of" is equally annoying.2 But one example:
The question is one of [defendant's] mindset in utilizing [read "using"] the lease agreements. What was [defendant's] goal in utilizing [read "using"] the lease agreements?3

Counsellor, you are not in fifth grade any more, writing a book report on The Outsiders, which may be no shorter than four pages, else five points will be docked. Your brief can be as short as you want! No need to replace short words with long ones, I promise.

Over the holidays, as I pondered "utilize" and its equally ugly twin "make use of," I had a flash of verbose inspiration. I generated the Ubermensch of irritating, flabby phrasing: "make utilization of." So unnecessary! So annoying! Brilliant!

Alas, I had underestimated the legal profession's desire to wax verbose. This phrase, which I thought my own verbal Frankenstein, already lumbers through the public record, frightening all who encounter it.4 I regret to inform that I offer but a few examples:

  • While the initial filing fee for arbitration may indeed be higher to Plaintiff, this in and of itself is not sufficient to make utilization of the agreed upon forum impracticable in light of the fact that this cost can be fully recouped if Plaintiff is successful.
  • It is precisely these kinds of multiple party transactions, in which the involved parties rarely, if ever, deal directly with one another, that make utilization of the UCC's available protective filings crucial. Failure to utilize to full potential all the protection that the UCC affords leaves unsecured parties' interests inferior to those of parties who wisely follow UCC directives.
  • There have been occasions when the Court, after initially fashioning a per se rule for a certain type of conduct, has subsequently determined that the absence of demonstrably certain anticompetitive effect and the possibility of economic utility for such an arrangement make utilization of per se treatment unwarranted.

I'll note only that this last bullet point is doubly infuriating, because the entire phrase could not only be changed to "use" but could be struck out entirely.

1A very smart man with a very cool webpage informs me that in two particular situations, "utilize" and "utilization" are the correct technical terms. LWW will assume without finding that he is correct. I submit, however, that these particular uses of the term (which are neither interesting nor relevant) have only become accepted jargon because the original jargonators wanted their jargon to sound longer and less clear, thereby making the jargonators more necessary.

2 Arguably more so, because there's no jargon use to justify "make use of" at all.

3This brief actually uses "utilize" six times in twelve pages. My rage grows comprehensible, I hope.

4 It was almost, but not quite, as disappointing as the time I thought I had a really great idea, and slowly realized that I'd essentially invented cash money. But that is a story for another day.