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Smoot v. Mazda

If Judges Posner or Easterbrook are ever again inclined to wonder why even the simplest of Seventh Circuit briefs might take several thousand dollars of attorney time (Posner: Nov. 24, 2005 and Nov. 29, 2005; Easterbrook: Jul. 8), it is because of decisions like today's Smoot v. Mazda (via Bashman) where a humiliating order to show cause why the attorneys should not be sanctioned was issued for failure to perfectly comply with Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(a)(1), in the process accusing the attorneys of malpractice.

Ironically, while both parties' attorneys were lambasted for failing to comply precisely with technical and arcane (albeit important) requirements, it was entirely shrugged off that the plaintiff had filed a complaint alleging defectively designed airbags without any supporting evidence. The only consequence for that action was the straightforward affirmance of the summary judgment for the defendants. The contrast of what is and isn't considered a sanctionable waste of the court's and attorneys' time is enlightening.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.