Thursday, February 20, 2014

Double-O Dummy

Some preceding zeros are very cool.
James Bond isn't agent 7, he's Double-O 7.
But in nearly all other circumstances, including appellate practice, preceding zeros are simply silly. Record citations that look like "1-AA-00007," to refer to page 7 of volume 1 of an appendix, serve no useful purpose. (If you haven't experienced a brief with citations like this, count yourself lucky!)
Yes, it may be true that that's the way the page number got Bates-labeled or electronically numbered. But 000007 in any normal context is merely 7, and should be cited as merely 7.

Dear Lawyer, please don't let your intensely literal mind override common sense.

Mr. Bates himself implores: Please don't use me as an excuse!