Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Logophiles Unite!, Part II.

Justice Fernandez is at it again. You may remember our catalog of his erudite opinions over the years. Here's another. (McNeil v. Middleton, Case No. 01-56565 (9th Cir. March 29, 2005). Two passages stand out for their logophilia:

"[W]hile the legal mind might be that daedalian (or would it say 'banausic'), no jury would be." (Id.) (I think there might be an insult to lawyers in there.)

"Were we to hold otherwise, our former 'error' would become recrudescent." (Id.)

Professor Shaun Martin of University of San Diego School of Law has counted the number of times Justice Fernandez has used "recrudescent" in opinions: ten (10) times overall, and four (4) times in a three (3) day period late last month.

He writes: "Judge Fernandez used this word not only in Gunning and McNeil, but also the (unpublished!) opinions in Arc of Washington State (2005 WL 705372) and Boyle (2005 WL 703397) as well as in his opinions in David (307 F.3d 1143, 1148), Smith (233 F.3d 1188, 1194), Knight (219 F.3d 1138, 1144), Hinduja (102 F.3d 987, 991), Springer (51 F.3d 861, 868), and Phillips (1992 WL 231124, *7). ...

"[T]he remainder of the Ninth Circuit has somehow managed to write tens of thousands of published and unpublished opinions during this period without ever resorting to the word "recrudescent," whereas Judge Fernandez felt compelled to use it ten different times (and four times -- in Gunning, McNeil, Arc of Washington State, and Boyle -- in three days!)." (California Appellate Report: United States v. Grunning (9th Cir. - March 31, 2005).)

Will he go for five? The drive for five is alive!