Texans are noted for their love of the wide open spaces. It would appear that for one Texas judge, Judge Leonard Davis, this love extends to the open spaces on a printed page. (VirnetX v. Microsoft)
Most courts have “Local Rules” which, among other things, limit the number of pages in a legal brief (a “brief” is anything but – the term is actually an example of legal humor). The rules in the Eastern District of Texas further specify that “all filings in this Court shall be in 12-point, double spaced, Times New Roman font with no less than 1 inch margins.” Some ethically impaired and long-winded attorneys may seek to circumvent this requirement by using a smaller type font and reducing the margins and the space between lines of type. The fiends!
Well, no more – at least in the Eastern District of Texas! Last month, Judge Davis rejected four briefs filed by Microsoft, on the grounds that they were not in compliance with the Local Rules, ordering them to be refiled in proper format. I, for one, applaud the judge for enforcing the Local Rules. If you let Microsoft get away with using 11-point font and 3/4-inch margins today, where will the transgressions stop? Tomorrow, they might be committing patent infringement or anti-trust violations. Oh…!
THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Avoid embarrassment; read and follow the Local Rules.
Seems Microsoft can't catch a break in the courts these days. Then again, it sounds rather like maybe someone on Microsoft's legal team ticked Davis off. Or maybe it was just an example of a judge being a prima donna ... as many of us know, it wouldn't be the first time.