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Assange Charge Twitter-Leaked Due to Lawyer Proofreading Fail

By George Khoury, Esq. on November 19, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Proofreading is really important. Especially when it comes to pleadings or other docs that might get filed with the court. Sometimes there's more than your reputation on the line, and not catching a stupid copy and paste error will have a real impact.

Just ask Julian Assange who was recently tipped off about the fact that there are definitely ... probably ... maybe charges filed against him in the United States, under seal. This little unsubstantiated fact popped out of a federal prosecutor's pleading because, and you probably guessed it, they failed to proofread their filing in an unrelated case.

Copy and Paste and Twitter Leaks

While Assange may be known for his site Wikileaks, his potential savior came in the form of a tweet going lawyer-viral (that's like not real viral, but enough to get lawyers and journalist curious enough to do some research).

Lo and behold, the Tweeter explained that in two places in an unrelated case's motion to seal, the prosecutor forgot to edit out Assange's name, and probably the paragraphs where his name appeared (as it is further explained that the arguments where Assange's name appear don't seem to relate to the case to which the pleading is connected). Every lawyer reading this knows that this is due to sloppy copy and paste work combined with a lack of proofreading.

Proofreading Tips

If you're reading this and thinking, "man, I really hope I don't drop the ball that hard." Well, then you might want to read up on some proofreading tips.

A couple of my personal favorites include a bottom to top review, where you read each sentence, starting with the last and working your way up. It is time consuming, but it certainly helps to ensure your filings are error free. Another great, and much more fun, proofreading tip is to use a "newscaster voice" and pretend you're reading your doc on the evening news and read it loud and proud. Newscasters generally speak properly, and by reading your doc in your best newscaster persona, you'll be able to suss out what doesn't sound right.

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