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Creative Lawyer Files Cartoon Amicus Brief Due to 5-Page Limit

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

When his brief was limited to only five pages, Bob Kohn made it a cartoon to save space.

Kohn submitted the brief as part of a suit filed by the Justice Department against Apple and five publishers of E-Books. The complaint alleged price-fixing and three of the publishers settled the case, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

Kohn isn't a party to the case but he asked the judge if he could submit an amicus brief. The judge agreed but cut Kohn's proposed 25-page brief down to only 5 pages.

To make the page limit, Kohn took some drastic steps.

He converted his 25-page brief into a 5-page 'graphic novelette' featuring him explaining the issues to his daughter.

Of course, there are reasons why most attorneys don't take this route. There is a concern that it could annoy the judge and negatively impact a client's case. There's also the need to conform to court rules on brief formatting.

Kohn didn't need to worry about his client since he didn't have one in this case. He managed to meet the other requirements as far as anyone can tell.

Other than the unique format the brief appears to conform to stylistic requirements, reports the ABA Journal. It begins with a table of authorities and the panels include citations and references. Most importantly, it meets the 5-page limit.

Kohn believes that is also conforms to the requirements for 12-point font and 1-inch margins even though the brief's text appears written by hand.

Not only is the brief creative, it's also accessible for non-legal readers, reports Publisher's Weekly. It doesn't lack for legal argument and is easier for the general public to read.

That is a clever marketing strategy for Kohn who is chief executive of RoyaltyShare.

Unfortunately for Kohn, either his argument or his format weren't convincing to the judge. The settlement agreement was approved only one day after he submitted his brief, according to the ABA Journal.

His creative take is inspiring but that doesn't mean attorneys need to jump on the 'cartoon brief' bandwagon just yet. Traditional written briefs aren't going out of style anytime soon.

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