Wayne’s document-design cheat sheet
Transparency can be beautiful

Cast of characters

If you’re telling a story involving many players, how do you help the reader keep the players straight? You might do what Judge John R. Brown did in Grigsby v. Coastal Marine Service of Texas, Inc., 412 F.2d 1011 (5th Cir. 1969) (copy in Word format here). In a case involving 17 characters, he listed the entire cast in footnote 3, providing each player’s full name and shorthand name used in the opinion. For individuals, he also listed each one’s employer. This technique yielded two benefits. First, it spared readers the dreaded parenthetical accompanying each character’s introduction (e.g. “... Coastal Marine Service of Texas, Inc. (“Coastal”)”). Second, it gave readers one sure and easily accessible place to find who’s who.