Thursday, April 20, 2006

Visual Aids

Earlier this month, Lead Plaintiffs RH Capital Associates LLC and Pacific Investment Management Company LLC filed a Consolidated Class Action Complaint in the In re Refco, Inc. Sec. Litig., pending before Judge Gerald Lynch in the Southern District of New York.

The complaint, at 226 pages and 636 paragraphs is certainly not short. Indeed, as discussed by Prof. Christopher M. Fairman in several articles, including The Myth of Notice Pleading, 45 Ariz. L. Rev. 987 (2003), some courts would label the Refco complaint as "prolix" and dismiss it for failure to comply with Rule 8.

To assist readers in following the tale of Refco's spectacular collapse, Plaintiffs attached two useful exhibits to the complaint:
- A nine page "Glossary of Certain Key Terms" that appears to include all of the short form references from the complaint together with a brief definition; and

- A "Reference Chart for Claims" outlining which of the fourteen separate counts are brought against which of the defendants or groups of defendants.
I humbly suggest that future pleaders in complex cases consider submitting similar exhibits with their amended complaints.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

kidding, right? If your complaint is too long and "prolix", you should submit two additional documents to help the court understand the prolix one. Seems like maybe there's another, shorter option.