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Quote of the Day - When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it. - Bernard Bailey
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The Ease Of Reading Index Is Off The Scale

Thanks to Rob Crisell for this article in the November California Lawyer magazine. The question is: how good is your vocabulary?

Did you know that you'd have to turn to the OED in order to read legal opinions? Legal jargon is bad enough, but now we're going to have to turn to another dictionary to get the full understanding of these words.

The California Lawyer article cites excerpts from twelve opinions by Judge Ferdinand Francis Fernandez of the Ninth Circuit.

Here's the dirty dozen (with the erudite words hyperlinked for your ease of reference):

1. Kearney v. Standard Ins. Co., 175 F.3d 1084 (9th Cir. 1999) (dissenting): "But let that be; at least after today's didactic exercise a district judge will be able to incant canorous phrases which will please our ears."

2. Committee to Save Mokelumne River v. East Bay Mun. Utility Dist., 13 F.3d 305 (9th Cir. 1993) (concurring): "They indicate that it takes no genius or epopt to see what the message will be."

3. United States v. Garett, 179 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir. 1999) (concurring): "To put it another way, absent a compelling reason the district court cannot have abused its discretion, but it would take a better haruspex than I to divine that from the opinion."

4. In re Daisy Sys. Corp., 97 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 1996) (dissenting): "The district court, with that perceptive and informed sententiousness that often characterizes the work of our district judges, said that: Merely because Bear Stearns was hired as an expert consultant to render financial services does not mean it was in a position of superiority in this relationship between two sophisticated business entities."

5. Smith v. McCormick, 914 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1990) (concurring and dissenting): "I will not undertake to burden, bore, or ensorcell the reader by glossing what the Montana Supreme Court actually wrote when it decided this case."

6. United States v. Valdez-Gonzalez, 957 F.2d 643 (9th Cir. 1992) (dissenting): "Perhaps Congress should resile from its sentencing experiment."

7. Bugenig v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, 266 F.3d 1201 (9th Cir. 2001) (dissenting): "So plain it seems, it would take a marvelous act of interpretation, bordering on thaumaturgy, to read the constitution as expanding the Tribe's jurisdictional reach beyond the norm."

8. Paulson v. City of San Diego, 294 F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 2002) (dissenting): "No matter how timorous or cautious we are about religion, the city's action cannot be seen as minatory."

9. Gentala v. City of Tucson, 244 F.3d 1065 (9th Cir. 2001) (dissenting): "If the statement did present a problem, I hardly think that the City can place a tarnkappe [a magic cap securing the invisibility of the wearer] over the policy's reification of hostility at the threshold by adding that requirement."

10. Newdow v. United States Congress, 292 F.3d 597 (9th Cir. 2002) (concurring and dissenting): "My reading of the stelliscript suggests that upon Newdow's theory of our Constitution, accepted by my colleagues today, we will soon find ourselves prohibited from using our album of patriotic songs in many public settings."

11. Kang v. U. Lim Am. Inc., 296 F.3d 810 (9th Cir. 2002) (dissenting): "Moreover, the statute speaks with enough clarity to permit (nay require) one to stop with its own words, rather than undertaking to stravage in a wilderness of possible legislative purposes."

12. Dillingham v. INS, 267 F.3d 996 (9th Cir. 2001) (dissenting): "To say that, does not enisle this country, although it does recognize that we are a separate nation."

Huh?

Exactly. What ever happened to plain English for lawyers?

That's why Latin is a dead language.

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, November 22, 2004 at 12:05 Comments Closed (2) |
 
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