By Elle Chaseton

I know, that you know, that I know everyone knows this stuff. But I am continually surprised when I look in a brief and see how often these things come up. Here are the most common things that none of us want to see.

  • Los Angeles Superior Court – Missing Reservation Numbers on the caption of Motion-related documents;
  • Every Court in the U.S.A. – Failing to make sure your citations are consistent and accurate. There is no excuse for errors in citations and incorrect or inconsistent citation style. Bluebook and each state court’s citation book tells you everything you need to know about the use of citations: The correct way to cite a case is simple, and every legal professional should get into the habit of doing it correctly.
  • Footers – Inconsistent document titles on pages following the caption page (haven’t we all seen opposing papers come through with some random titles).
  • Footnotes 1 – Wrong size font per Court Rules.
  • Footnotes 2 – A completely different font style than the brief (oops changed font in brief and didn’t go back and do the footnotes – we see you).
  • Declaration 1 – Completely leaving out the words I declare under perjury.
  • Declaration 2 – Not using language that says I declare blah blah blah. (This can get your papers bumped.)
  • Moot v. Mute – I don’t think an explanation is necessary.
  • Ensure v. Insure – Ditto.
  • Do diligence v. Due Diligence – I kid you not.
  • Less v. Fewer – If you can count it, use the word “fewer.” Save the word “less” for uncountable nouns.
  • Farther v. Further – Farther is distance.
  • Authority – State v. Federal – Citing state court cases and/or statutes for authority in a federal court. (I kid you not.)
  • Proof of Service – Different dates listed. Such as “On 4/6/1999 I served” followed at the bottom with “executed on 3/9/2024.
  • Dates (the year!) – This especially happens in the first few months of the year (happens to us all).
  • Than v. Then – Then is used for chronological sequences.


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