Haven’t posted one of these in the while. The ABA Journal reports here on another lawyer taking a beating from a judge for poor writing. The Dayton, Florida lawyer, David W. Glasser, was the attorney on the receiving end of U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell’s ire. Apparently, Attorney Glasser filed a Motion to Dismiss with the District Court and Judge Presnell denied the Motion without prejudice. Attached to the Judge’s Denial is a copy of the original Motion complete with red editing marks. The Judge ordered Glasser to copy his client on the criticism.
I read the ABA’s blurb listing the grammatical errors pointed out by the Judge: several examples of excess spacing; typographical errors; incorrect placement of punctuation outside of quotation marks; incorrect capitalization; wrong word use; and, one very long sentence. Procedural errors aside, I thought to myself “sure, these are problems, but the Judge’s actions seem pretty harsh.” And then I read the example quoted by the Journal:
“A review counsel’s file subsequent to the court order indicates that for some reason full which counsel is unaware, the defendant named in the complaint was changed to the current defendant. Counsel believes this was changed by counsel’s prior assistant it was no longer with counsel’s firm.”
Whaaaat? Case closed.
[if you really want to, you can read the Motion here]
I thought some of the judge’s comments were a bit picky, but then when you include some of the whoppers you can see why the red pen came out. Ouch again!
Sounds like this painful lack of proofreading might’ve been begun by one of those speech to text programs! LOL!
Another good reason not to rely on MS Word tools such as spell check. There is no replacement for careful human proofreading (best by two humans) for important documents. Mistakes like these in contracts can cost millions. Sometimes caused only by a mis-placed comma! This only strengthens the argument for lawyers utilizing document assembly tools.