Top US litigation boutique learns dangers of not double-spacing

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A top boutique litigation firm in the US acting for Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been fined by a federal judge in Manhattan after it did not follow correct spacing in order to cram more words into a brief.

Judge Victor Marrero of the US District Court of the Southern District of New York said that Susman Godfrey’s memorandum opposing a preliminary injunction motion from CafeX Communications “was 24-point spaced, not double spaced.” This allowed the firm to “submit a substantially longer memorandum than the 25 pages provided by this Court’s Individual Rules,” Marrero said.

“The flouting of this Court’s Individual Rules was a deliberate choice by counsel for Amazon to gain some slight advantage in this litigation,” the judge wrote.

Under the court’s rules, all memoranda should be double-spaced and in 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Ignoring the rule has netted Susman Godfrey and AWS a $1,048.09 fine, the cost of preparing the complaint memorandum.

Susman Godfrey, which specialises in high-stakes commercial trials, has just over 100 lawyers working out of offices in Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. The firm is ranked by Vault as the best litigation boutique in the US.

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