Seriously! We had a federal appeal brief due yesterday on which we are co-counsel with a firm in California. My boss (bless his heart - in a good way - not Southern slang), had his portion drafted before he left for Canada for a month because he knew it would be short timing when he got back. Well, we finally go the CA firm's draft last Thursday night. On Monday, while drafts were going around, I quite calmly informed the other attorney I'm working with on this that this year will NOT be the THIRD year in a row that I work until midnight on my birthday (it was Tuesday).
So - here's my "happy birthday story." We get an email from CA atty - and she says that before, when she said the brief was only about 1,000 over the limit (14,000 words for those of you that don't get to play with these lovely things..), she had neglected to include footnotes in the word count. So, the "bad" news was that the brief was at 22,500 words and needed to be chopped by Thursday. Then she went on to share the "good" news! She had looked up the rules all by herself, and they had been amended in January 2011 and now the limit was 16,500 words. Isn't that great?!
Here's the problem... she read the wrong flippin rule! You get 16,500 for an answer on a CROSS appeal. So - still 22,500 down to 14,000. Joy joy joy. I left on time Tuesday anyway, and mostly had the legal check done (because they were all pretty sure that wouldn't change and they were right for a change!). Then I had to go through Wednesday and put back all the required parts she cut, and somehow, we did manage to get it done.
You should have heard baby attorney laughing about this one - especially since he was a clerk for the 10th Circuit! I thought he was going to faint when I told him "just a little over" was oh, approximately 8,000 words LOL
Next up - we are contemplating an answer in a state appeal that either just says "BULLSHIT" or, "With all due respect, as the Court can plainly see, Plaintiff-Appellant is completely looney tunes!!" Some of the pro se plaintiffs really put out some *interesting* work...