Wednesday, April 22, 2015


That's how the appellant in this Federal Circuit case cited to a case so that it counted as one word instead of 14. The court wasn't amused:

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure limit an
appellant’s opening brief to 14,000 “words.” Fed. R. App.
P. 32(a)(7). Appellants attempted in their first corrected
brief to create “words” by squeezing various words together
and deleting the spaces that should appear between the
words. For example, the following is not one word, although
that is how it appears on page 3 of Appellants’ first
corrected opening brief:


Instead, when written properly, it is 14 words: Thorner v.
Sony Computer Entm't Am. LLC, 669 F.3d 1362, 1365
(Fed. Cir. 2012). Similar matters appeared throughout
the brief.
In the alternative, Appellants move for leave to file a
new “corrected brief.” The new corrected brief does not
bring the actual word count below 14,000 words. For
example, the new corrected brief would, instead of deleting
spaces between words in case citations, replace various
phrases or case citations with abbreviations such as
“TOA1” and list those citations only in the table of authorities.
The Appellants also use abbreviations such as
“CR1” to cross-reference to something that was stated
earlier in the brief, although it is so poorly explained that
it is nearly incomprehensible. Neither the previously filed
brief nor the most recent proffered corrected brief comply
with the court’s rules. Instead, they represent an attempt
to file briefs that, if written properly, exceed the permitted
word limitation.
Appellants have failed to show cause why the brief
should not be stricken and why the appeal should not be
dismissed. Pursuant to the court’s March 17, 2015 order,
the appeal is dismissed.

In local news, the feds are targeting local businesses in a particular geographic area for money laundering. Can they do that? From the AP:

Federal investigators are targeting 700 businesses in the Miami area for enhanced scrutiny to detect trade-based money laundering schemes involving Latin American criminal organizations, authorities announced Tuesday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the focus would be on electronics exporters, including those in the cellphone business, in five ZIP codes near Miami International Airport. The targeted companies will be required to file certain Treasury Department forms for transactions over $3,000 rather than the current $10,000 threshold.

In addition, the companies will be required to identify people involved in the transactions, focusing especially on third parties who put up the money to complete the deals. Authorities say the program enhances law enforcement's ability to find and prosecute money launderers, including those in the illicit drug trade, counterfeit merchandise sales and human trafficking.

"It's very prevalent among the electronic exporters," said John Tobon, assistant special agent in charge of ICE homeland security investigations in Miami. "These are items that are very easily sold overseas."

The Miami businesses were not identified by name. Tobon said not all of them are wittingly involved in money laundering, although some are created solely for criminal groups to evade U.S. currency laws. Some legitimate exporters view the complex, often all-cash transactions as necessary for doing business in Latin America.

"We want to let them know this is not an acceptable business practice," Tobon said.

The new rules, formally known as a Geographic Targeting Order, were issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, which is part of the Treasury Department. A similar order was issued last year covering some 2,000 businesses in the Los Angeles area after raids in that city's fashion district resulted in seizure of $90 million in cash and $30 million in bank accounts traced to Mexican drug cartels.


Anonymous said...

It's not even clear to me why case names should count against the word limit. The parties have no control over the cases which are relevant.


In short, the Court's Order to Counsel for the Appellant said:


Anonymous said...

This was stupid on all sides. The court dismissed an appeal (denying potential justice to a litigant) because it didn't get its way over some petty non-sense. The lawyer acted like a jackass and ended up prejudicing his client.

Bob Becerra said...

The geographic targeting order is going to snare some legitimate mom and pop exporting businesses. Now the government gets to tell you what is an "acceptable business practice" because you might deal in currency that is issued by that same government? They are already coming after businesses who receive wire transfers from third parties for payments on orders. Watch Out!

Paul Petruzzi said...

Dumb and dumber