The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Some courts impose word limits. Other courts impose page limits. I do not like page limits. Crafty attorneys can use various methods to adjust the page-count. For example, they can tweak justification, page breaks, end-of-line hyphenation, and other elements to make a document take up less space. Of course, the most blatant trick is to bury stuff in footnotes. Footnotes are usually single-spaced, and in a smaller font. I'll admit that I've used this approach in the past when I was running up against a word limit. The nature of a page limit creates this perverse incentive. I much prefer word limits. That number measures everything you write, regardless of the spacing and formatting issues.
Recently, Judge Boasberg (DDC) struck a brief "for violating the Court's Local Rule on excessive footnotes, particularly given the length of the footnotes."
OH, SNAP: Judge strikes Justice Dept brief in lawsuit over recordkeeping of Trump foreign-leader calls, says footnotes are too long & violate local rules. Offending filing saved from memory hole: https://t.co/T9edgor6Bn Order from Judge Boasberg (Obama appointee): pic.twitter.com/gBVvwBcP72
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) August 14, 2020
I suspect Judge Boasberg may have been miffed by DOJ's practice before, and wanted to send a message.