Thursday, April 23, 2015

The CAFC deals with word count in an opening brief [FRAP 32(a)(7)]

There is a post on the ABA Journal [Squished-together words don't count as one, Federal Circuit says; appeal is tossed ] discussing the case PI-NET INTERNATIONAL, INC. and DR. LAKSHMI ARUNACHALAM vs. JPMORGAN CHASE & CO., which has text at the top of the published CAFC case: Case: 14-1495 Document: 74 Page: 1 Filed: 04/20/2015.

Within the order of April 20, 2015 [available through a link at the ABA Journal], one has some detail:

On March 17, 2015, this court directed Appellants to
show cause why the first filed corrected brief should not
be stricken and why this appeal should not be dismissed
for failure to file an opening brief in compliance with the
court’s rules. That order was in response to a motion from
JPMorgan that noted that Appellants’ opening brief
exceeded 14,000 words if, inter alia, Appellants had not
deleted spaces between various words in the brief.

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure limit an
appellant’s opening brief to 14,000 “words.” Fed. R. App.
P. 32(a)(7). Appellants attempted in their first corrected
brief to create “words” by squeezing various words together
and deleting the spaces that should appear between the
words. For example, the following is not one word, although
that is how it appears on page 3 of Appellants’ first
corrected opening brief:

[catentated text of a cite ]

Instead, when written properly, it is 14 words: Thorner v.
Sony Computer Entm't Am. LLC, 669 F.3d 1362, 1365
(Fed. Cir. 2012). Similar matters appeared throughout
the brief.

In the alternative, Appellants move for leave to file a
new “corrected brief.” The new corrected brief does not
bring the actual word count below 14,000 words. For
example, the new corrected brief would, instead of deleting
spaces between words in case citations, replace various
phrases or case citations with abbreviations such as
“TOA1” and list those citations only in the table of authorities.
The Appellants also use abbreviations such as
“CR1” to cross-reference to something that was stated
earlier in the brief, although it is so poorly explained that
it is nearly incomprehensible. Neither the previously filed
brief nor the most recent proffered corrected brief comply
with the court’s rules. Instead, they represent an attempt
to file briefs that, if written properly, exceed the permitted
word limitation.

Appellants have failed to show cause why the brief
should not be stricken and why the appeal should not be
dismissed. Pursuant to the court’s March 17, 2015 order,
the appeal is dismissed.

On the CAFC website, there are three cases for April 20, 2015, including
IN RE: SIMON SHIAO TAM, but NOT including 14-1495.

Further, a search for 14-1495 yielded the following response at the CAFC website:

Your search has not returned any results. Please refine your search and try again.

Separately, merely for information:


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