The Third Circuit today adopted a rule for assessing the citizenship of a trust under the diversity of citizenship statute, 28 U.S.C. 1332(a).  It held that the citizenships both of the trustee and of all the trust beneficiaries count if the trust sues in its own name.  Emerald Investors Trust v. Gaunt Parsippany Partners, Nos. 05-3706 & 05-4134 (3d Cir. June 14, 2007).

A different test applies if the trustee brings suit in his own name.  Only his citizenship matters in that situation.

The 26-page opinion raises a compositional question, one that rages at Blawgletter’s firm and many others.  Yes, it does concern footnotes. 

The Emerald Investors decision deploys 26 footnotes, an average of one per page.  Footnote 10 alone takes up two pages.  Huh?

Most lawyers, we hope, would never think of sticking so much stuff in footnotes.  Judges don’t read them!  So why would judges commit the same offense?

We can only speculate, but guess we will: 

All law professors overuse footnotes.  All judges learned to write from law professors.  Therefore, Socrates is a man.  No, wait — therefore, all judges overuse footnotes.

We can think of exceptions, among them Seventh Circuit Judge Posner, who abhors footnotes.  Fortissimo, per favore. 

Barry Barnett

Feedicon Socrates would subscribe to our feed.  Why not you?