Criminal Procedure

Judge Warns Lawyers for Blackwater Defendants About Single Spacing

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has put lawyers for five Blackwater Worldwide contractors on notice that their failure to double space won’t be tolerated.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina wrote in a short notice (PDF) filed on Monday that the lawyers submitted a legal memorandum in single-space type, according to the Washington Post blog The Crime Scene. Urbina said the filing was “an apparent attempt to include more information in their submission than would otherwise be permitted.”

The notice doesn’t identify the lawyers who submitted the memorandum that raised Urbina’s ire. But different court filings in the case identify these law firms as representing various defendants: Steptoe & Johnson, The Thomas More Law Center, the Coffield Law Group, Wiltshire & Grannis, Schertler & Onorato, and Mallon & McCool.

Urbina said the parties are now on notice that any further single-spacing will result in sanctions. The lawyers represent five former security contractors accused of shooting 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007.

The law firms did not immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

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