There is such a thing as “too much information”….

10 Mar

In the United States, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure limit appellate briefs to 14,000 words.  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently faced a case where one of the parties had submitted an 18,000 word brief.  The court issued an order to show cause why the brief should not be “stricken and/or sanctions imposed for failing to comply with Rule 32 and making a false representation to the court.”  The court heard argument that the error was inadvertent.  The court rejected that argument.  In a decision written by Justice Posner, this stern warning was issued:

The flagrancy of the violation in this case might well justify the dismissal of the appeal: let this be a warning. But in addition it is plain from the briefs that the appeal has no merit. To allow time for the appellants to file a compliant brief and the appellees to file a revised brief in response, and to reschedule oral argument, would merely delay the inevitable.  The motion to file an oversized brief is denied and the judgment of the district court summarily AFFIRMED.

A link to the decision,  is here.

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