Here’s an interesting legal spat over typography, reported by the WSJ Law Blog and the ABA Journal. According to the stories, one law firm accused another of filing a brief with 1.75 line spacing instead of double-spacing, thus enabling them to squeeze about four more lines on each page of a brief limited to 25 pages. The accused law firm denied the charge, insisting that they used Times New Roman 12-point typeface with line spacing set at 24 points, exactly double the line height. Nevertheless, the judge gave the complaining law firm five extra pages for its response brief.
According to Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers, double-spacing in Word results in spacing about 233% of line height. So it does seem that, whether or not you can call it “double-spacing,” the accused law firm in fact managed to fit more lines on the page by opting for 24-point spacing in lieu of Word’s double-spacing.
On a related note, what do y’all think of this opening comment in the WSJ Law Blog item:
Lawyers, as good advocates, try to cram as many arguments as possible in their legal briefs, particularly when judges impose limits on how much they can say.