Legal Document of the Year

Via How Appealing, The Smoking Gun presents the Legal Document of the Year for 2003 (they couldn’t wait till December):

bq. The winner is not for the faint of heart, because in it the Colorado State Public Defender’s office provides what possibly may be the most comprehensive history of the “F-word” one could ever hope to find.

I particularly enjoyed the table contrasting the frequency of two forms of the F-word with that of other common expressions such as Mom, apple pie, freedom of speech, baseball, hot dogs and Chevrolet (well, in Britain we do sometimes talk about apple pie).

I have used the Smoking Gun archive before. It has rather extreme cases, as scans, showing the original layout, signatures and certificates of service.

Howard Bashman’s How Appealing blog has a monthly interview (twenty questions) with an appellate judge, as Denise Howell reminded us yesterday.

2 thoughts on “Legal Document of the Year

  1. I must say that what disturbs me about such cases is that it is so often some superficial aspect of the behaviour that leads to a prosecution, in this case the insulting language. I can’t help feeling that what upset the principal mostly was the aggressive reaction of the student but it was the language that he chose to act upon. I would bet that if the student had used the very same words but adopted a meek and apologetic attitude then we would never have heard about this incident. If people in positions like the principal were trained to handle aggressive behaviour as an honest expression of feelings instead of being offended by it then there would, in my opinion, be far fewer prosecutions for really trivial offences. For grown men to try to make a criminal out of a young boy for expressing his feelings is symptomatic of a sick society. I would like to see courts refusing to act on that level and attempting to uncover the underlying problem, the real reason for the aggressive reaction, not the one that is presented in evidence. Perhaps this court did do just that and that is why the student’s counsel did not need to present his case. Derek

  2. Very true. On another legal problem, I see (from law blog) that a German Amtsgericht has acquitted a man with multiple sclerosis on charges of possessing cannabis, after weighing the interests on both side.

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