Appellate Practice

Lawyer Fined $100 for Getting a Case Citation Wrong


A Wisconsin lawyer has been fined $100 for getting a citation wrong in a brief submitted to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

The appeals court expressed its frustration in a footnote to an unpublished opinion, Espitia v. Fouche, Legal Blog Watch reports.

The lawyer cited an unpublished case that supposedly upheld a stipulated damages clause in a vending machines contract. But a search for the case based on the name provided by the lawyer turned up a misrepresentation case brought by newlyweds against a wedding photographer.

The cite wasn’t helpful, either. It was listed as “2005 AP 160,” which sent the appeals court to 2005 WI App 160 and another “dead end,” the footnote said. When the court finally found the real case—which had an entirely different name—it learned “2005 AP 160” was the docket number.

“Different name, different citation, different district (District IV) but, as promised, unpublished,” the court said in the footnote.

The lawyer who will have to pay the fine wasn’t identified.

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