Howard Bashman, in How Appealing, has an entry headed You know they’re criminals because they have aliases. He quotes an opinion beginning:
bq. Chittakone Chanthasouxat (Chanthasouxat) and Keopaseuth Xayasane
(Xayasane) (collectively, Defendants) appeal their convictions for drugrelated offenses.
Bashman’s mild query as to whether it was necessary to write “Chanthasouxat” is taken up by Eugene Volokh:
bq. Why do lawyers think it’s helpful to have obvious parentheticals like this? If there is only one Chanthasouxat in the case, people will realize that Chanthasouxat refers to that Chanthasouxat. If there is more than one, then you shouldn’t call either Chanthasouxat. Likewise, there were exactly two defendants in the cases being considered in the opinion; who else would “Defendants” refer to?
Bashman also links to a Findlaw review of Volokh’s new book on academic legal writing.
These parentheticals make me think of the technique in translation of quoting a statute both in German and English to introduce the German abbreviation. This shouldn’t be done slavishly, only as far as is necessary to help the reader.
The use of aliases for criminals reminds me of a report about two shoplifters in Fürth whose names were replaced by aliases – Oleg and Olga. Their nationality was not mentioned.