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Creative language in legal documents

Okay, it's Friday morning and the sun is streaming through my window as I write this.  It's hard to be serious.  Apparently some attorneys and judges also find it hard to be serious.  The question arises as to how far the writer should go in using humor or other colorful language.

For instance, Mr. George Swinger (yes, that is his name; I don't make this stuff up) filed a notice of appeal with the United States District Court in the Western District of Washington.  In his notice, he writes:

I hereby am informing you that I am appealing the asshole Ronald B. Leighton's decision in this matter. . . You have been hereby served notice.  You are not getting away with this shit that easy."

The docket in this case shows that the notice of appeal was filed on July 12, 2006, but in December, the court issued an order that the appeal was not taken in good faith and revoked appellant's in forma pauperis status, requiring him to pay the filing fees.  The appeal was ultimately dismissed due to failure to prosecute.

In a separate matter, Kissel v. Schwartz & Maines & Ruby Co., that was before the Kenton Circuit Court in Kentucky, Judge Martin Sheeham vacated a jury trial after the parties reached a settlement.  He writes:

"And such news of an amicable settlement having made this Court happier than a tick on a fat dog because it is otherwise busier than a one-legged cat in a sand box and, quite frankly, would have rather jumped naked off of a twelve foot step ladder into a five gallon bucket of porcupines than have presided over a two week trial of the herein dispute, a trial which, no doubt, would have made the jury more confused than a hungry baby in a topless bar and made the parties and their attorneys madder than mosquitoes in a mannequin factory;"

As one item in the order, the court ordered the clerk to "engage the services of a structural engineer to ascertain if the return of this file to the Clerk's office will exceed the maximum strctural load of the floors of said office."

Enjoy the weekend!




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