Monday, June 20, 2011

"Facts Shall Not Be Rambling Narratives" -- Great, Now You Tell Me.

Rambling Narratives Order

Who among us has not, from time to time, strung a random collection of facts and citations together and just filed the sucker?

Well apparently this is now frowned upon, at least in certain epic toe-tapping broken yacht cases:
2.  Facts shall not be rambling narratives, but shall refer specifically to pages/lines of testimony and/or pages or paragraphs or lines of admitted exhibits.
This is a fantastic practice tip -- I only wish someone had clued me into this a few decades ago.

For example, here is a sampling of my last findings of fact that I submitted recently in a federal case:
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept ...
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.
A rat crept softly through the vegetation 
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
Musing upon the king my brother's wreck
And on the king my father's death before him. 192
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year. 
But at my back from time to time I hear 196
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring 197
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter 199
And on her daughter
They wash their feet in soda water
(These findings were actually upheld on appeal.)
Don't even ask me about my conclusions of law!

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