United States District Judge Carl Barbier caught lawyers representing BP attempting to evade page limitations that he imposed for a response brief filed in the massive BP MDL pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. See Order, In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon”, MDL 2179 (E.D. La. Sep. 15, 2014). Said Judge Barbier: “BP’s counsel filed a brief that, at first blush, appeared just within the 35-page limit. A closer study reveals that BP’s counsel abused the page limit by reducing the line spacing to slightly less than double-spaced. As a result, BP exceeded the (already enlarged) page limit by roughly 6 pages.” The court was not amused:
The Court should not have to waste its time policing such simple rules—particularly in a case as massive and complex as this. Counsel are expected to follow the Court’s orders both in letter and in spirit. The Court should not have to resort to imposing character limits, etc., to ensure compliance. Counsel’s tactic would not be appropriate for a college term paper. It certainly is not
Any future briefs using similar tactics will be struck.