Don’t Be That Guy.


COMES NOW The Lawyerist (via Legal Blog Watch) who duly notes that a heretofore unknown bankruptcy judge (“Judge”) from Minnesota has issued prophylactic guidelines on proceeding forthwith (“PF”) in terms of filings and/or Legal Briefs in Judge’s Honorable Court, with all due respect as hereupon outlined by The Undersigned:

  • Guideline No. 6 — Capitalization: Lawyers apparently love to capitalize words. Pleadings, including proposed orders, are commonly full of words that are capitalized, not quite randomly, but certainly with great abandon. Please limit the use of capitalization to proper names. For example, do not capitalize court, motion, movant, debtor, trustee, order, affidavit, stipulation, mortgage, lease or any of the other numerous words that are commonly capitalized.
  • Guideline No. 7 — Use of articles: Lawyers apparently disfavor articles, both definite and indefinite. Use the articles “the,” “a,” and “an” as appropriate. Write the way you would speak. So, “the debtor,” not “debtor,” “the trustee,” not “trustee.”
  • Guideline No. 8 — And/Or: Never use “and/or.”
  • Guideline No. 9 — Superfluous Words and Phrases: Eliminate superfluous words. They serve no purpose other than to make the document sound more legal, which is exactly the opposite of the goal that I am trying to accomplish. Examples of such words are: “hereby,” “herein,” “in and for,” “subject,” “that certain,” “now,” “that,” “undersigned,” “immediately,” “heretofore entered in this case,” “be, and hereby is” — the list goes on and on.
  • Guideline No. 12 — Undersigned: Never use the word “undersigned.”

The entire guidelines are a must-read and are here.While we’re cranking out on stupid things lawyers do, here’s another that’s been on my mind:

If you are in court or a professional setting and you’re wearing ostentatious, distracting cuff links that promote your school or some personal hobby or idiosyncrasy of yours, you’re a d@*k.

It’s like putting a bumper sticker on your suit. Why not paint your face with your school colors while you’re at it?Ok, so you’re living vicariously through the crushing and dominating football victories of your Alma mater, we get it.But why do we need to know that?You’re in court, or in a office at a deposition, not chugging beers with your frat buddies.Keep your extra-legal personal interests to yourself, trust me no one gives a crap.

Also, if your kid is savvy enough to “text-message” or “Facebook” Santa, she’s probably doing it to humor you and you ought to just let the whole thing go already.

God you sound like a tool.

Wow, how’d we get here so early on a Friday?