Sunday, June 19, 2005


I'm learning that of all the appellate tricks in the attorney attache-bag, the favorite seems to be dropping the [sic] bomb. The idea is to scour the opposing counsel's brief, find every typo you possibly can (and you'd be amazed at how many seriously bad typos you'll find in briefs, it makes this blog look like it's edited by the folks at The New York Review of Books) and then find ways to incorporate those typos into your filings in opposition.

For example, if you find a line that says "has exhausted hi claims" in a habeas petition, then you write in response "petitioner claims that he has exhausted hi claims" [sic]. Those three letters really say a lot, because as everyone knows "sic" is latin for "opposing counsel is an illiterate jackass." At least, that's the impression I feel the quoter is trying to convey when I read this stuff. I don't have any empirical evidence on this yet, but I have a feeling that putting a typo in a sentence triples that sentence's chances of being quoted. That's just fcuked up.


Blogger Obligor Estoppel said...

I can tell you that I made it a point to quote a sentence from the facts for the brief we wrote last semester (within the record that was created and provided by our very own legal writing program) that contained an obvious error just so I could slap a nice [sic] into my brief. It felt good.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Ain't no power like the Power of Procedure said...

Here's some political discussion baiting- check out this case i just found in doing my research for work-

"It only requires that this distinction [ ] be abolished to practically abolish also the marital relation, and thus destroy the home, with all its hallowed associations. Society itself is but the aggregation of families, and to the extent that we weaken the family tie we sap the foundation of society. The history of mankind fortunately illustrates that no laws of any people have ever attempted to abolish all distinctions of [this kind]"

Estate of De Laveaga, 142 Cal. 158

no, it's not about gay marriage- its a 1904 case saying what will happen if illegitimate children are allowed to inherit from their parents. Since every state now allows this, guess they cried wolf on that one. What will people say 100 years from now?

8:56 PM  
Blogger Mr. Kensington said...

To my son,

Reading your prior post, your mother and I are a little shocked to see this new "angry son" that you have evolved into. Please stop going to law school, it make me think I raised a cynical monster.


5:53 PM  

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