Friday, January 12, 2018


In a pretrial ruling on a motion for a more definite statement in a complaint, the Honorable Ronald B. Leighton, United States District Judge, Western District of Washington at Tacoma provided gems of judicial wit. In Presidio Group, LLC, vs. GMAC Mortgage, LLC. Judge Leighton's order granting the motion began with William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 90: “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

The good Judge then went on to point out that “(b)revity is also the soul of a pleading. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The Federal Rules envision a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” He then went on to describe portions of the 465 page Complaint:

"Not before page 30 does the Complaint address the facts alleged. Plaintiff’s allegations continue for 87 pages – including a 37 page pit-stop to quote e-mails. (Compl. 39-76). The Court notes, with some irony, that in his response opposing Defendants’ motions for a more definite statement, the Plaintiff successfully states his allegations in two pages."

Then, in granting the motion, Judge Leighton added a bit of his own poetry:

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 re-write and re-file today.

In case you missed it before, here is his order.

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