Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Easing the reader's task

Many appeals, especially family law appeals, involve parties with the same surname. The Courts of Appeal often drop a footnote early in the case saying something like "to avoid confusion and for convenience, first names only are used in this opinion and not out of any disrespect for the litigants."
But in a case today, Badalabdishoo v. Lightbourne, here's a twist that you don't see often: The case involves Ms. Rada Badalabdishoo. When the court mentions her in the opinion's first sentence, it abbreviates her name to "Ms. B" and drops a footnote reading: "We abbreviate Ms. Badalabdishoo’s name to ease the reader’s task. We intend no disrespect."

Also from the 5th DCA today, this case (involving a "Mr. B") where an appeal was found to be frivolous, but no sanctions were awarded (against the pro per, impecunious appellant).  (For another brush with appellate sanctions see here.)

Finally, don't miss Judges turn same-sex marriage rulings into writing competition!