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Mark Herrmann names names.

Mark Herrmann (hereinafter “Herrmann”), not to be confused with the other Mark Herrmann (the Purdue quarterback, hereinafter “the other Mark Herrmann” or “OMH,” sometimes also referred to hereinafter as “the Boilermaker Mark Herrmann” or “BMH”), but the one who used to work for Jones Day (hereinafter “JD”) and now is chief litigation counsel for Aon (hereinafter, what?, how about “A”) — Oh, hell! Let me start over.

Mark Herrmann has written a fine piece for Above the Law on naming people and things. It boils down to writing like a human being and giving the reader credit for having a modicum of intelligence. So please read Mark’s piece and promise to never again write something like the first paragraph of this post.


Richard Neumann

On the Porsche example, Herrmann is wrong. Liability could involve several Porsche companies, each of which would have Porsche is the name. Porsche North America (his example) looks like the importer. The manufacturer, a German corporation, would be liable as well, as would the regional distributor and the retail dealer. Look at the parties and other companies in a personal jurisdiction case that's in all the Civ Pro casebooks: Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen of America, Worldwide Volkswagen, etc. To keep these straight, initials would help. VW AG focuses the reader on the German equivalent of Corp. (AG). VoA and WWVV are more easily distinguishable to the reader as initials than in their full names.


Coincidentally, John McIntyre has a recent blog post in the same neighborhood.

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