Trials & Litigation

Lawyer’s Motion Objects to Opponent’s Use of Possessives


A Missouri lawyer is taking aim at his opponent’s legal drafting skills in a motion that criticizes the “long-winded” allegations and use of apostrophes.

Springfield lawyer Richard Crites represents a probation officer accused in a civil suit of harassing and humiliating a former teacher who pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 2009. Crites’ motion criticizes Anissa Bluebaum, the lawyer who filed the civil suit on behalf of ex-teacher Alison Peck, the Springfield News Leader reports in a story that quotes from his motion.

“This petition is the worst example of pleading that the defendant’s attorney has ever witnessed or read,” Crites wrote the a motion seeking clarification of the allegations. He included an eight-page list of questions.

“Without answers to these questions and dividing this long-winded allegation into separate paragraphs, there is no way on God’s earth that the defendant can reasonably be expected to answer this diatribe,” Crites wrote.

Peck’s suit against the probation officer and her brother alleges they harassed Peck by going to bars where her band was playing and humiliating her, the story says. Crites complained that Bluebaum’s possible problem with possessives when referring to “defendants” and “defendant’s” makes it difficult to discern which defendant she is referencing.

“Defendant does not know whether plaintiff is just not familiar with the use of possessives or whether plaintiff was referring to merely one of the two defendants,” Crites wrote. “Is this merely the poor usage of the English language by plaintiff’s attorney? We have no earthly idea which is the case.”

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