LIVE-BLOGGING, Columbus, Ohio, April 30, 2007
The term is "hypergraphia" and it denotes a compulsion to write. Famous authors ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to Sylvia Plath have been suspected to have suffered from it. But, after following the lead paint public nuisance saga since October 2005, I am convinced it is primarily a lawyers' disease. Or, maybe more accurately, the legal profession being what it is demands exhaustive coverage of every base of every topic - in writing.
For example, when Rhode Island Superior Court Justice Michael Silverstein issued his ruling last February on the defendants' motions, it ran almost 200 pages. And this was the very same person who made a joke at the August 30-31st hearing on these defendants' motions about the attorneys from Sherwin-Williams, Millennium Holdings and NL Industries destroying forests in presenting their arguments - in writing. The two-day hearing represented oral presentations of highlights from that writing.
When I contacted sources for the briefs associated with the May 1st hearing in the Ohio Supreme Court regarding the veto of Substitute Senate Bill 117, Download Manager was very busy. There were not only the briefs from the plaintiff and the party on the hot seat. There were also myriad briefs from supporters or amici of both sides. There were also equally numerous transmittal notes from the legal powers-that-be.
Lou Gerstner returned IBM to profitablity and common-sense procedures when he got rid of the multi-page presentations. If the pitcher couldn't boil it down to a page, the idea got tossed. Is there something comparable that can be done in law?
For instance, for tommorrow's hearing, can't there be one piece of paper on which the days from when the legislature passed 117 and when former Governor Bob Taft let it become law by not vetoing it are written down and added up to 10?