Trials & Litigation

Patterson Belknap Wins More Pages in Line-Spacing Spat


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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler has won the right to include five extra pages in its brief opposing a dismissal motion after arguing that an opposing law firm benefited from a change in line spacing.

Patterson Belknap claimed its opponent did not follow requirements for double spaced briefs, resorting instead to 1.75-line spacing, according to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog and Law 360 (sub. req.). As a result, Patterson Belknap argued, the opposing law firm was able to squeeze in about four extra lines per page, which amounted to about four extra pages in the opponent’s 25-page dismissal motion.

U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer of Manhattan handed Patterson Belknap a victory on Thursday when he said the law firm could get five extra pages for its brief opposing the dismissal. Patterson Belknap represents paralegal Robert Lopez, who claims The Gap Inc. and its Old Navy stores are infringing his trademark by selling garments with the phrase “Lower East Side” and “LES NYC.”

The Gap is represented by Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, which denies fudging its spacing. The Law Blog quotes from its argument: “As is our usual practice, the brief employs 12 point Times New Roman font formatted in Microsoft Word with the line spacing set at exactly 24 points, i.e., double the line height,” Fross Zelnick wrote.

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