TACOMA, Wash.—A federal judge in Tacoma has told a lawyer he needs to make it snappy.
Judge Ronald Leighton balked at a 465-page lawsuit that made its way onto his desk. He invoked a rarely used rule that requires a "short and plain statement" of allegations.
The title of the racketeering lawsuit filed by attorney Dean Browning Webb was eight pages long.
The judge issued his order in a limerick:
"Plaintiff has a great deal to say,
But it seems he skipped Rule 8(a).
His Complaint is too long,
Which renders it wrong,
Please rewrite and refile today."
I am sure the judge I clerked for last year was amused by this: he is also a fan of short and snappy but despite being devoted to literature is unlikely to issue an order in verse.