Why can’t lawyers say what they mean?

I am looking at an edition of The Florida Bar News. There is an article on page one entitled “S. Court issues rules for online records.” In the article the writer says: “Court clerks have worried about the enormity of their new duties . . . . “

Really??? Are they going to start executing lawyers who do not e-file???

“Enormity” means “outrageous or heinous character; atrociousness: the enormity of war crimes.” Using it to mean enormousness is non-standard.  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/enormity Why not use precise language, and say what is meant, especially in a publication for lawyers?

Then there is Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.440(b) “any party may serve a notice that the action is at issue [pleading are closed] and ready to be set for trial.” The cases decided under this rule say that the court cannot refuse to set the matter for trial because the parties are not ready; that as a matter of law the case is ready to be set for trial when the pleadings are closed. So what purpose does the last half of the quotation serve? How many defense attorneys respond to notices for trial by saying the matter is not ready to be set for trial because discovery is ongoing? Why not make the rule say what it means? It should say: “any party may serve a notice that the action is at issue and therefore ready to be set for trial,” or “any party may serve a notice that the action is at issue.”

I’m still trying to figure out the definition of “NOW COMES” or “COMES NOW.” I see it at the beginning of every motion and pleading; and always in all capital letters. Shall I bow? Why waste the toner and paper on this?

The rules seem to require penalties as the usual result for stupid positions taken by lawyers in discovery. But, I cannot remember the last time a judge actually sanctioned someone for making stupid objections to discovery. If sanctions are supposed to be a last resort (which is how they are treated) shouldn’t the rule say that?

Clifford M. Miller

Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

Miller Law Offices

3760 20th Street

Vero Beach FL 32960-2464



why can't lawyers say what they mean