We have all chafed at the limitations placed by courts on filings — limits that often require counsel to drop whole claims or issues. For Bob Kohn, the chairman and chief executive of RoyaltyShare, however, the requirement that he reduce over ninety pages of arguments into five pages was absurd. According, he filed a five-page cartoon strip as his amicus filing.
The briefest of briefs was filed in opposition to the Department of Justice’s proposed settlement with three book publishers over accusations of e-book price fixing. Kohn was limited by Judge Denise L. Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan to the five pages. Kohn called upon his daughter, Katie, who is studying for her Ph.D in film studies at Harvard, to help out. Katie enlisted friend Julia Alekseyeva to do the illustrations while Kohn did the script.
The rules do not prohibit pictures, though they do require headings and other details:
All papers shall be typed (double spaced) or reproduced by any duplicating or copying process that produces a clear black image on opaque white paper 11 inches long and 8-1/2 inches wide, unfolded, without back or cover, fastened at the top. Every paper shall contain a heading under the caption describing the nature of the pleading, motion or other paper. Papers should also be punched at the top with two holes, 2 3/4 inches apart and 3/8 inch from the top, to facilitate insertion in the file jacket. The case number on every paper shall be followed by the initials of the judge to whom the case has been assigned. If the case has been referred to a magistrate judge, the magistrate judge’s initials shall also be shown. All exhibits or attachments to papers should reflect the number of the case in which they are filed.
Since I am currently trying to shoehorn about 50 pages in a opposition to summary judgment into 25 pages, the idea of a cartoon strip is certainly appealing.