Federal judge cites ‘excessive footnoting’ and imposes limit for revised government brief

Trials & Litigation


A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has tossed a government brief for “excessive footnoting” and ordered lawyers to submit a new one containing no more than 10 footnotes.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said in a short July 28 docket entry that the footnotes appeared to be an effort to circumvent page limits, report Bloomberg Law and the National Law Journal (sub. req.).

The offending brief, filed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, had 48 footnotes spanning 300 lines of text, according to the National Law Journal. Boasberg said the 10 footnotes allowed in the new brief could span no more than 50 lines.

Local court rules specify that all pleadings shall be double-spaced in 12-point font, and footnotes, “which shall not be excessive,” shall also be in the same font size.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is asking Boasberg to dismiss a suit challenging its creation of a special purpose national bank charter for “fintech” or financial technology companies. The suit by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors claims the office has exceeded its authority.

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