1998-05-09 - Re: FILED 98 MAY - 8 AM 11:31

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From: “Michael Froomkin - U.Miami School of Law” <froomkin@law.miami.edu>
To: remailer@replay.com
Message Hash: ea8e0c51639d5e6c9635745d8473e6e60bb12fc787ca571509683a7f0a5af4fb
Message ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.980508153800.27840G-100000@boxster>
Reply To: <3553504B.6AA9@nmol.com>
UTC Datetime: 1998-05-09 18:42:01 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 11:42:01 -0700 (PDT)

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From: "Michael Froomkin - U.Miami School of Law" <froomkin@law.miami.edu>
Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 11:42:01 -0700 (PDT)
To: remailer@replay.com
Subject: Re: FILED 98 MAY - 8 AM 11:31
In-Reply-To: <3553504B.6AA9@nmol.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.980508153800.27840G-100000@boxster>
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This spam-proofed message was sent by Michael Froomkin.
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Lest anyone be mislead, this filing is garbage.  I find particularly
ridiculous the idea that a court can only cite cases submitted by the
parties.  On the contrary, the court's duty is to cite the law correctly,
and thus to ignore anything inaccurate or irrelevant submitted by the
parties and to supplement where and when needed.  Nowhere is this duty
clearer when, as here, one side is not represented by counsel; as it
happens, the court exercises this duty to supplement _to help_ the pro se
plaintiff, not hurt it.

I have not followed the pleadings very carefully in this case, so I won't 
express a view on the merits except to say that having attempted to read
plaintiffs' submissions I was not able to figure out much about what merit
their case was supposed to have.  

Were I to be asked by a pro se plaintiff how to best present their case in
federal court, I would say:  don't try to write legalistically.  Use the
case caption at the top of the first page, as provided by the rules of
court, then identify who you are, and who you are suing in the first
paragraphs, then tell your story in plain and simple English with as few
legalisms as possible.  If you have a particular statute or statutes in
mind that you think were violated, do specify them, but also ask for
whatever other relief the court may find just or equitable so as to
preserve all your options. 

Legalistic mumbo-jumbo is NOT required, and only gets in the way of
telling your story.  Attacking the court is stupid, both because it
usually isn't justified and because it never achieves anything.

A. Michael Froomkin        | +1 (305) 284-4285; +1 (305) 284-6506 (fax)
Associate Professor of Law |
U. Miami School of Law     |
P.O. Box 248087            |
Coral Gables, FL 33124 USA | It's @#$#@ hot here.