## "Under plenty of perjury"

1. ### J.W. Brewer said,

December 19, 2020 @ 2:32 pm

It only takes a minute's googling to learn that this is not an original variant spelling (or damn-you-autocorrect issue) by Mr. Wood. It's not even the first instance in election-related litigation during the current year. Here's a brief filed this past July by the League of Women Voters (in a lawsuit attacking the New York state law that says you have to register to vote at least 25 days before Election Day in order to be eligible to participate) that contains the sentence "Under this system, if such an individual arrived at a polling site and their information had not yet been entered into a poll book, they would be permitted to cast a ballot by swearing under plenty of perjury that they were qualified to vote and registered. See N.Y. Election Law §8-302(3)(e)(ii); see, e.g., Breger Aff. ¶ 12."
https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/league_of_women_voters_ny_v_nys_board_of_elections_-_pi_motion_7_28_2020.pdf?fbclid=IwAR08E2Yr8TeajJxn4_QlHvYq3DyRGr_ktq2drFJtf3LOyfJk4IeuQBI5Ljc

2. ### J.W. Brewer said,

December 19, 2020 @ 2:37 pm

Long long ago when I was fresh out of law school and working for a federal appellate judge, the relevant court rules required a brief to be accompanied by a certification that at least one of the lawyers listed on the signature page was "a member in good standing of the bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Xth Circuit." One day while reviewing a newly-filed brief we found one in which the lawyer had omitted two important (though very short) words and false claimed to be "a member in good standing of the United States Court of Appeals" etc. When we pointed out this hilarious screwup to the judge we were advised that yeah you typically see that at least two or three times a year.

3. ### D.O. said,

December 19, 2020 @ 2:38 pm

I went on Google to search for "plenty of perjury" (someone should, right?) and there is an interesting in a plus ça change sense Senate hearing of 1877 about Chinese immigrants. There is a discussion of the honesty of Chinese witnesses under oath and a generally anti-Chinese witness states "There is plenty of crime among the white race and plenty of perjury among the white race." Maybe some things did change after all. At least witnesses before the Senate tried not to lie back then.

4. ### J.W. Brewer said,

December 19, 2020 @ 2:52 pm

Corrigendum: "two important" in my 2:37 pm comment should be "three important" and "false" should be "falsely." Even while trying to tell the anecdote in a lighthearted and non-judgmental way I appear to have invoked Hartman's Law against myself.

5. ### Philip Taylor said,

December 19, 2020 @ 3:08 pm

The answer will undoubtedly be clear to all familiar with the American legal system, but as someone who is extremely unfamiliar with that system, may I ask whether there [could] exist people who are "members in good standing of the United States Court of Appeals for the Xth Circuit" who are not also "members in good standing of the bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Xth Circuit", and equally, whether there [could] exist people who are "members in good standing of the bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Xth Circuit" who are not also "members in good standing of the United States Court of Appeals for the Xth Circuit" ?

6. ### J.W. Brewer said,

December 19, 2020 @ 3:19 pm

Philip T.: To be "a member of the bar of" such-and-such a court means in AmEng legalese to be a lawyer licensed to appear in that particular court (because we have 50 different state court systems and a complex federal-court system superimposed on that, there is no single "national" law license that entitles its holder to appear in all courts nationwide). To be a member of such-and-such court would mean to be one of its judges, although it would be an unusual way to say that in most contexts.

It is highly likely (but probably not without some individual exceptions) that a judge on a given court will in his/her pre-judicial career as a lawyer been admitted to the bar of that particular court, but the vast majority of the lawyers who are members of the particular court's bar are *not* judges and thus not members of the court-as-such.

7. ### Philip Taylor said,

December 19, 2020 @ 3:45 pm

Ah, thank you, all is now clear. So only judges can be "members of the court", while lawyers ("barristers", as we would call them in the UK) are members of the Bar but not of the Court.

8. ### John Swindle said,

December 19, 2020 @ 7:25 pm

@Philip Taylor: Barristers or whatever that other thing is called that we don't distinguish in the US.

9. ### John Swindle said,

December 19, 2020 @ 7:28 pm

Solicitors. Although in the present case "barrister" does make more sense.

10. ### Robert said,

December 20, 2020 @ 8:04 am

When I was a kid, I thought the tag on the back of a sofa or chair said "Do not remove this tag under plenty of law."

11. ### A. Sasportas said,

December 20, 2020 @ 12:23 pm

@ Robert. As a very small boy, I read the tag correctly but was afraid that if I pulled it off, the police would come and arrest me.

12. ### James said,

December 20, 2020 @ 1:17 pm

Years ago I was a clerk for a small law firm and we received a court filing from an opposing party which stated, on its signed certification page, that the document had been delivered "via fascnuke". It took several of us working together to puzzle out that the writer intended to type "facsimile", but:
– transposed the c and the s,
– left out the first i, and
– let their right hand drift one key to the right

Maybe not the most ironic typo, but I'll always remember it for its sheer depth. Also, if memory serves, the document had been delivered by mail.

13. ### Keith said,

December 20, 2020 @ 2:03 pm

At a guess this should have read "under the pain and penalty of perjury", right?

I am not surprised that the name L. LIN WOOD appears on this document.

14. ### J.W. Brewer said,

December 20, 2020 @ 3:47 pm

@Keith: "pains and penalties" sounds all posh and lawyerly (with the seemingly gratuitous doublet), but the required text (which a given instance must be in "substantially the same form as") is set forth in the referenced federal statute and is less old-timey and poetic-sounding. The whole idea is that this is a rationalist modern substitute for the old-timey ceremony of formally swearing to the truth of the document in the presence of a notary public.

15. ### Philip Taylor said,

December 20, 2020 @ 4:22 pm

Following the immediately preceding link, I was amused to read the following :

If you can, please help the Legal Information Institute [LII]. Donor support is very important to us. If everyone reading today donated the price of their morning cup of coffee, we would meet our fundraising goal for the entire campaign. We're a small operation with costs of a top website: servers, staff and programs. We serve millions of readers, but we run on a fraction of what other top sites spend. If the LII is useful to you, please take one minute to show your support. Thank you.

followed by a list of options — $10,$25, $50,$100, $250, other. Now if a cup of coffee costs a minimum of$10 where the LII is based, I am truly glad that I don't live there !

16. ### Philip Taylor said,

December 20, 2020 @ 4:25 pm

B@gg@r — MathJax ruined the last part. It should have read "followed by a list of options — USD 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, other. Now if a cup of coffee costs a minimum of USD 10 where the LII is based, I am truly glad that I don't live there !

17. ### Philip Taylor said,

December 21, 2020 @ 8:40 am

Re. barristers, solicitors and lawyers, I have just read the following in the notes attached to the text of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Ruler of the Queen's Navee".

Lines 310, 312. Sir Joseph became "an articled clerk" so that he would, after an apprenticeship, be qualified as a solicitor. One of our readers, Mary S. Butler, writes from Sheffield to explain, "This being England we have a split profession (I should know because I am a Solicitor — an ex-Articled Clerk — married to a Barrister). Sir Joseph Porter would clearly have been qualifying as a Solicitor, not a Barrister, and hence would have sat the Law Society's exams (or whatever the Victorian equivalent was) but not definitely not, in any circumstances, the Bar Exams." [For more on Gilbert and the Victorian legal profession, see London Characters and the Humourous Side of London Life (1871) written by both W. S. Gilbert and a thus-far unidentified "Mr. Jones."

18. ### Francois Lang said,

December 21, 2020 @ 5:15 pm

Googling "best legal typo" turned up this gem

https://www.thepoke.co.uk/2017/10/14/best-legal-typo-time-stop-looking-til-find

How one little letter changes things!

19. ### Philip Taylor said,

December 22, 2020 @ 7:37 am

Well, "facsi[n-z-overtype]ile" is all I saw on the first few attempts, but I finally saw the other one …

20. ### Viseguy said,

December 22, 2020 @ 11:21 pm

Today, at work, I ran across, literally, "… under penalties for forgery…". Auto-correct? I dared not ask.