Off Topic: Judge Kozinski on Lengthy Briefs

I regularly read the California Appellate Report blawg authored by Professor Shaun Martin of the University of San Diego Law School. I read his blawg because it’s entertaining and it’s much more pleasant than scouring through the courts’ websites looking for interesting cases.

In a recent post, Prof. Martin discussed a “neat little dissent” by my favorite Ninth Circuit judge, Judge Kozinski. In that case, Judge Kozinski was worked-up over having to deal with another long brief. I love Prof. Martin’s take on Kozinski’s hortatory.

Briefs are often longer than they need to be and that’s because it’s more difficult to write a concise and persuasive brief than to write a brief just throwing in a lot of case law without really thinking about what is really relevant and necessary to the argument.

About 20 years ago I had a case before the Nevada Supreme Court. And I think the Supreme Court rule limited briefs to 35 pages. My brief was less than 10 pages, but my opponent’s brief was exactly 35 pages and it was all italicized and boldfaced! The whole brief!

I wonder what Judge Kozinski would say about that.

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