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It is tempting to use metaphors or literary analogies in an appellate brief. Shakespeare is a favorite among lawyers because quoting the Bard of Stratford-on-Avon can add spice and erudition to an argument. 

But not all appellate court judges appreciate lawyers’ creative flourishes.  The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld sanctions imposed on a Florida bankruptcy lawyer whose argument was in the form of haiku:  “All know: talk is cheap; Liars can claim anything; No evidence?! Balk!”  

The sanctions, however, did not stop the poet-lawyer from extending his creativity to his appellate brief, which concluded with a quote from the Bard of Cartoons, Bugs Bunny:  “That’s all, folks!”  The Eleventh Circuit was not amused and imposed additional sanctions. See In re: Peter Allan Wizenberg, No. 20-10641 (11th Cir. Dec. 15, 2020).

So, be careful who you quote.  “That’s all folks!”

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