Gaah. I have been up since three a.m. madly writing a federal Circuit Court of Appeals brief in this case against a crazy person who is representing himself. For those of you not familiar with the U.S. court system, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the highest level of the court system except for the U.S. Supreme Court. Unlike Madeline, who does these briefs with her eyes closed, I have only done an appellate brief at this level once before.
Lemme tell you, it is very time consuming to put these things together, what with various sections you have to include and all the citations to case law and to the pleadings and transcript in the underlying case. You would think it would be easier with an unrepresented person on the other side, but in fact, it is just the opposite. The average crazy, unrepresented person is inclined to raise gazillions of different issues, all of which should be identified and addressed. The average crazy, unrepresented person also tends to write rather badly and in a very haphazard way, so catching everything is tough. Plus, the courts try to "construe [the crazy, unrepresented person's] pleadings liberally," which means that even if the crazy, unrepresented person doesn't quite articulate a valid legal argument, you have to watch out for the valid legal arguments that the court might read into the crazy unrepresented person's pleadings. I really wish this person had a lawyer! Anyone want the case? Will? Richard? Wdegraw?
Anyway, I still have hours of work to do. I was hoping not to have to bother commuting into the office, but my secretary wound up scheduling me for a meeting that I now can't get out of. So I have to drive an hour and back just to go to this meeting, and then resume my frantic research and typing here in my bedroom with all my notes and the papers to which I need to refer strewn about. Along with lots of empty soda cans, too.