Exceed the Word Limit at Your Peril

As librarians have recently reminded LRWA IV classes:  if there is a required form, make sure you use it!  Indeed, as a recent Seventh Circuit decision stresses, every court rule must be strictly followed.

In an opinion written by Judge Posner, the court blasted the appellant’s attorney for exceeding the mandated word limit by 4,000  words.  Seventh Circuit rules require that attorneys certify compliance with its word limit, which this attorney had done.  The court noted that failure to comply with the word limit without certification would have caused the brief to be rejected.  And, while ultimately holding that the appeal failed on the merits, the court emphasized that certifying a noncompliant brief might also warrant dismissal of the appeal.    

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog.