Thursday, December 6, 2012
How Many Pages Should Your Notice of Supplemental Authority Be?
Maybe I'm one of those old fart lawyers Brian Tannebaum is always writing about, but I was taught that a notice of supplemental authority should be a one-page document listing the new case, with at most one line or two explaining its relevance.
It shouldn't be an opportunity to engage in another set of briefing that renders the federal rules superfluous.
But we all know lawyers who can't resist using the new case to reargue points already made in the briefs, and who go way overboard -- causing you a moral dilemma: should you respond in kind? Move to strike? Turn the other cheek and ignore the sharp practice? Hope the judge does something sua sponte?
Case in point:
This supplemental authority is fairly restrained, though you could argue it goes a paragraph too far.
But like the old Cold War doctrine of MAD, an overwhelming and devastating response was inevitable.
And here it is -- three full pages of responsive argument.
Not willing to leave well enough alone, here is the "reply" in support of the notice of supplemental authority -- four(!) more pages of pure argument.
Aren't there page limits in briefs for a reason?