Crime

Writers of Law Sentence You to Read Sentences


legal writing, plain English, long sentences, grammar,

Lawyers are expected to use long, complicated sentences. Many attorneys pride themselves on their ability to use unnecessarily-complicated words and phrases. Sometimes, however, even those within the profession will cry foul at the sight of some of the lexicon-entangled gobbledygook written by members of the bar.

It is understandable — but not forgivable — when writers of literature assault us with eye-strain-causing sentences. When this practice is adopted by those who have the responsibility to write the laws the rest of us have to obey, simplicity is preferred. Complication breeds confusion. Confusion over these sentences can result in receiving criminal sentences. Consider some of these gems from the world of law.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Budget constraints preclude the hiring of a proofreader, so Commonplace Fun Facts uses Grammarly as a second set of eyes. By presenting the following gargantuan sentences in their unedited form, Grammarly tried its best to stop us, but finally gave up, threw up its digital hands in resignation, and declared, “This blood be on your own hands.”

538-Word Sentence from U.S. International Court of Trade

Mittal Steel Point Lisas Limited v. United States, No. 02-0076 (C.I.T. Mar. 29, 2010) was a decision from the United States International Court of Trade. On one hand, you can point to this decision as a model of brevity, since the entire order consists of one sentence. On the other hand, one sentence does little to help bring clarity when that sentence consists of 538 words:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) having misread this court’s opinion herein sub nom. Caribbean Ispat Ltd. v. United States, 29 CIT 329, 366 F.Supp.2d 1300 (2005), to the effect that it “prohibited” the defendant International Trade Commission (“ITC”) from “considering the effects of LTFV imports of non-CBERA countries when it assessed imports from Trinidad and Tobago” [Caribbean Ispat Ltd. v. United States, 450 F.3d 1336, 1341 (Fed.Cir. 2006)] and having thereupon vacated this court’s judgment of dismissal and remanded the matter for the ITC to “make a specific causation determination and in that connection . . . directly address whether [other LTFV imports and/or fairly traded imports] would have replaced [Trinidad and Tobago’s] imports without any beneficial effect on domestic producers”, id., quoting from Bratsk Aluminum Smelter v. United States, 444 F.3d 1369, 1373 (Fed.Cir. 2006); and this court having entered an order of remand in haec verba, 30 CIT 1519 (2006); and the ITC in compliance with that order having determined that an industry in the United States is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of certain wire rod from Trinidad and Tobago that is sold in the United States at less than fair value; and this court having affirmed that determination sub nom. Mittal Steel Point Lisas Ltd. v. United States, 31 CIT 1041, 495 F.Supp.2d 1374 (2007), and entered an amended final judgment of dismissal; and the intervenor defendants having appealed therefrom and induced the CAFC to opine, among other things, Mittal Steel Point Lisas Ltd. v. United States, 542 F.3d 867, 877 (Fed.Cir. 2008), that it does not regard the decision in Bratsk as requiring the Commission to presume that producers of non-subject goods would have replaced the subject goods if the subject goods had been removed from the market, although we stated there, and reaffirm here, that the Commission has the responsibility to consider the causal relation between the subject imports and the injury to the domestic injury, that responsibility does not translate into a presumption of replacement without benefit to the domestic industry[] and also that the “problem may stem from a lack of sufficient clarity in [its] prior opinion”, 542 F.3d at 879; and the CAFC having determined to vacate yet again this court’s judgment of dismissal, notwithstanding the ITC’s “scrupulous attention to the terms of this court’s remand instructions”, id., and remand the matter yet again “for further consideration of the material injury issue in light of [it]s opinion” and also “for further proceedings with respect to the threat of material injury”, id.; and the mandate of the CAFC having issued in regard thereto; and the Clerk of this court having reopened this matter on March 24, 2010; Now therefore, after due deliberation, it is ORDERED that this matter be, and it hereby is, remanded to the defendant International Trade Commission, which may have until June 25, 2010 to attempt to comply with the CAFC’s reasoning, as set forth in its foregoing, more recent opinion, and to report to this court any results of this mandated remand; and it is further hereby ORDERED that the other parties hereto have until July 30, 2010 to file comments on any such results.

593-Word Sentence from Massachusetts Payment of Wages Act

Not to be outdone by the example above, the state with the longest name decided to come up with an even longer sentence. The first paragraph/sentence of the Massachusetts Payment Wages Act (Mass. Gen. Laws Chap. 149, Section 148) contains important information for employers that must be understood and obeyed in order to avoid incurring the wrath of the state. This sentence comes in at 593 words:

Every person having employees in his service shall pay weekly or bi-weekly each such employee the wages earned by him to within six days of the termination of the pay period during which the wages were earned if employed for five or six days in a calendar week, or to within seven days of the termination of the pay period during which the wages were earned if such employee is employed seven days in a calendar week, or in the case of an employee who has worked for a period of less than five days, hereinafter called a casual employee, shall, within seven days after the termination of such period, pay the wages earned by such casual employee during such period, but any employee leaving his employment shall be paid in full on the following regular pay day, and, in the absence of a regular pay day, on the following Saturday; and any employee discharged from such employment shall be paid in full on the day of his discharge, or in Boston as soon as the laws requiring pay rolls, bills and accounts to be certified shall have been complied with; and the commonwealth, its departments, officers, boards and commissions shall so pay every mechanic, workman and laborer employed by it or them, and every person employed in any other capacity by it or them in any penal or charitable institution, and every county and city shall so pay every employee engaged in its business the wages or salary earned by him, unless such mechanic, workman, laborer or employee requests in writing to be paid in a different manner; and every town shall so pay each employee engaged in its business if so required by him; but an employee absent from his regular place of labor at a time fixed for payment shall be paid thereafter on demand; provided, however, that the department of telecommunications and energy, after hearing, may authorize a railroad corporation or a parlor or sleeping car corporation to pay the wages of any of its employees less frequently than weekly, if such employees prefer less frequent payments, and if their interests and the interests of the public will not suffer thereby; and provided, further, that employees engaged in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity as determined by the attorney general and employees whose salaries are regularly paid on a weekly basis or at a weekly rate for a work week of substantially the same number of hours from week to week may be paid bi-weekly or semi-monthly unless such employee elects at his own option to be paid monthly; and provided, further, that employees engaged in agricultural work may be paid their wages monthly; in either case, however, failure by a railroad corporation or a parlor or sleeping car corporation to pay its employees their wages as authorized by the said department, or by an employer of employees engaged in agricultural work to pay monthly the wages of his or her employees, shall be deemed a violation of this section; and provided, further, that an employer may make payment of wages prior to the time that they are required to be paid under the provisions of this section, and such wages together with any wages already earned and due under this section, if any, may be paid weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-monthly to a salaried employee, but in no event shall wages remain unpaid by an employer for more than six days from the termination of the pay period in which such wages were earned by the employee.

3,980-Word Sentence from the Trial of Francis Henry De la Motte

Satire: a thin Frenchman kneels beseechingly while five women pull his pigtail, pinch his nose and threaten him with a mop. 5 January 1781 Etching Producer name Print made by: Thomas Colley
“A French Spy Taken Prisoner by English Girls” by artist Thomas Colley. This 1781 etching inspired by the arrest of Francis Henry De la Motte and his co-conspirators shows a French prisoner suffering far less indignity than anyone who has to read the first sentence of De la Motte’s court proceedings.

Lest you think that run-on sentences in the law are solely a recent phenomenon, you may wish to delve into the curious case of Francis Henry De la Motte. De la Motte was a French citizen and former French army officer who was charged with High Treason. His trial took place in London on July 23, 1781. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was executed four days later. Considering that the first sentence of the court’s decision was 3,980 words long, it is questionable whether there was time to read the sentence before receiving his sentence. The execution was particularly gruesome. He was condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. He was, in fact, left hanging on the gallows for an hour before having his heart cut out and burned. The drawing and quartering part did not get carried out. One supposes that the effect of having to wade through the court’s convoluted grammar was considered punishment enough.

The sentence in question reads thusly:

BE IT REMEMBERED, That at the general session of Oyer and Terminer of our Lord the King, holden for the county of Middlesex, at Hick’s Hall in Saint John’s street in the said county, on Tuesday the 24th day of April, in the 21st year of the reign of our sovereign lord George the Third, king of Great-Britain, &c. before William Mainwaring , esq. the Reverend Sir George Booth , bart. George Mercer , David Walker , esqrs. and others their fellows, justices of our said lord the king, assigned by his Majesty’s letters-patent under the great seal of Great-Britain, directed to the same justices before named, and others in the said letters named, to enquire more fully the truth by the oath of good and lawful men of the said county of Middlesex, and by other ways, means, and methods, by which they shall or may better know (as well within liberties as without) by whom the truth of the matter may be better known, of all treasons, misprisions of treason, insurrections, rebellions, counterfeitings, clippings, washings, false coinings, and other falsities of the money of Great-Britain and other kingdoms or dominions whatsoever; and all murthers, felonies, manslaughters, killings, burglaries, rapes of women, unlawful meetings, conventicles, unlawful uttering of words, assemblies, misprisions, confederacies, false allegations, trespasses, riots, routs, retentions, escapes, contempts, falsities, negligences, concealments, maintenances, oppressions, champarties, deceits, and all other evil doings, offences, and injuries whatsoever, and also the accessaries of them, within the county aforesaid (as well within liberties as without) by whomsoever and in what manner soever done, committed, or perpetrated, and by whom or to whom, when, how, and after what manner; and of all other articles and circumstances concerning the premises, and every of them or any of them in any manner whatsoever; and the said treasons, and other the premises, to hear and determine according to the laws and customs of England, by the oath of John Tilney , Miles Dent , John Thomas , John Dawson , James Smith , Richard Snow , Joseph Cary , John Tayler , John Clark , Thomas M’Carty, Isaac Watson , William Cock , Richard Stapleton , Timothy Tomlins , and Joseph Muskett , good and lawful men of the county aforesaid, now here sworn and charged to inquire for our said Lord the king for the body of the same county, It is presented in manner and form following (that is to say): Middlesex.] The jurors for our sovereign lord the king, upon their oath, present, that an open and public war, on the 11th day of January, in the 20th year of the reign of our sovereign lord George the Third, by the grace of God, of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth, and long before and ever since hitherto by land and by sea was, and yet is carried on and prosecuted by Lewis the French king against our most serene, illustrious, and excellent prince, our said lord the now king; and that one Francis Henry De la Motte, late of the parish of Saint George, Hanover-square, in the county of Middlesex , gentleman , a subject of our said lord the king, of his kingdom of Great-Britain, well knowing the premises, not having the fear of God in his heart, nor weighing the duty of his allegiance, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil, as a false traitor against our said most serene, illustrious, and excellent prince George the Third, now king of Great-Britain, and so forth; and contriving, and with all his strength intending, the peace and common tranquillity of this kingdom of Great-Britain to disquiet, molest, and disturb, and the government of our said present sovereign lord the king of this kingdom of Great-Britain, to change, subvert, and alter; and our said lord the king from the royal state, title, honour, power, imperial crown and government of this his kingdom of Great-Britain, to depose and deprive; and our said lord the present king to death and final destruction to bring and put, and the faithful subjects of our said lord the king, and the freemen of this kingdom, to bring into the most miserable servitude and slavery under the said French king; he, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, on the said 11th day of January, in the said 20th year of the reign of our said lord the king , and on divers other days and times, as well before as after that day, with force and arms, at the said parish of Saint George, Hanover-square, in the said county of Middlesex, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously did compass, imagine, and intend our said present sovereign lord the king, of and from the royal state, crown, title, power, and government of this realm of Great-Britain, to depose and wholly deprive, and the same lord the king to kill, and bring and put to death: and to fulfill, perfect, and bring to effect, his said most evil and wicked treason, compassings, and imaginations aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor, during the war aforesaid, to wit, on the said 11th day of January, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously, did compose and write, and cause to be composed and wrote, divers letters and instructions in writing, to shew and inform the said French king and his subjects, then and yet enemies of our said present sovereign lord the king, of the state, condition, and force, of several of the ships of war of our said lord the king, and the number of the ships and forces of our said lord the king, then and there designed and prepared for the defence of this kingdom, and the enemies of the said kingdom to attack, repell, and resist; and how some of the ships of war of our said lord the king were manned, and for what time divers ships of war of our said lord the king were furnished with provisions, and of the stations of divers squadrons of ships of war of our said lord the king, employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war; and the names of the commanders of such squadrons, and the number and force of the ships of war of which such squadrons consisted; and also of the service in which divers other ships of war of our said lord the king were then employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war; and also the number and force of the ships of war of our said lord the king, within certain ports of this kingdom, and of the state and condition of several of the said ships; and of the numbers of the land forces of our said lord the king, in this kingdom and the dominions thereunto belonging; and of the times of the sailing of divers ships of war of our said lord the king, and the destination of the said ships, and the services in which such ships were employed; and of the times when other ships of war of our said lord the king were then expected to sail from this kingdom, and the voyages, cruises, and services, upon which such ships were sailed; and also of the times when other ships of war of our said lord the king, employed in the prosecution and carrying on of the said war, were expected to arrive in this kingdom; and also of the times of the sailing of several ships and vessels belonging to divers subjects of our said lord the king, from this kingdom to the dominions of our said lord the king, and other places, in parts beyond the seas; and also of the times when other ships and vessels, belonging to divers other subjects of our said lord the king, were expected to sail from this kingdom to the dominions of our said lord the king, and other places, in parts beyond the seas; and also of the times when other ships and vessels, of divers other subjects of our said lord the king, were expected to arrive in this kingdom from the dominions of our said lord the king, and other places, beyond the seas: and that afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the said 11th day of January, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain letter to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said letter the said Francis Henry De la Motte, among other things, wickedly, falsely, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed to the said enemies of our said lord the king, that certain regiments of the army of our said lord the king were preparing to go to the West-Indies; and also of the number of land forces of our said lord the king to be sent to North America and Canada; and of the stations of divers ships of war of our said lord the king, then employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war of our said lord the king against the said Lewis the French king: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the 30th day of June, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain other letter, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said last mentioned letter, the said Francis Henry De la Motte (among other things) wickedly, falsely, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed to the said enemies of our said lord the king, that Sir George Brydges Rodney, bart, then being one of the admirals of our said lord the king, was at the island of Barbadoes, in parts beyond the seas, with 14 ships of war of our said lord the king, part of a squadron of ships of war of our said lord the king, employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war, under the command of the said Sir George Brydges Rodney, being such admiral as aforesaid; and that seven other ships of war of our said lord the king, other part of the said squadron, kept at sea; and that other ships of war of our said lord the king, other part of the said squadron, were under repair at St. Lucia, in parts beyond the seas: and also that Francis Geary , esq. then being one other of the admirals of our said lord the king, was cruizing, with a squadron of other ships of war of our said lord the king, between the Scilly islands and Ushant; and that certain ships and vessels were getting ready with provisions for the said squadron; and that a certain ship of war of our said lord the king, called the Marlborough, had sailed from Spithead, on Tuesday then last past, to join the said squadron; and that certain other ships of war of our said lord the king, employed in prosecuting and carrying on of the said war, were off Cherburgh, in the kingdom of France: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the 1st day of August, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, certain accounts or lists, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in one of which said accounts or lists, the said Francis Henry De la Motte falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed to the enemies of our said lord the king, the number, force, and station of a certain squadron of ships of war of our said lord the king, then employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war, under the command of the said Francis Geary , then being one of the admirals of our said lord the king; and in another of the said accounts or lists, the said Francis Henry De la Motte falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed, to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the number, names, and force of certain ships of war of our said lord the king, then in certain ports of our said lord the king, in this kingdom; and the state and condition, and destination, of the same ships of war: and in another of the said accounts or lists, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed, to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the times of the sailing and destination of divers other ships of war of our said lord the king, which had lately before that time sailed from this kingdom; and also the number, state, condition, and force of divers other ships of war of our said lord the king, then in the ports of this kingdom: and in another of the said accounts or lists, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed, to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the stations of divers ships and vessels of our said lord the king, then cruizing against the enemies of our said lord the king: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the said 1st day of August, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, an account, or state, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said account, or state, the said Francis Henry De la Motte notified, disclosed, and revealed to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the number of the naval forces of our said lord the king, employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war, under the command of certain admirals of our said lord the king: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the 9th day of August, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain other letter, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, and then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said last mentioned letter, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, (among other things) falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed, to the said enemies of our said lord the king, that certain ships of war of our said lord the king had then lately failed to reinforce a squadron of ships of war of our said lord the king, under the command of the said Francis Geary , then being one of the admirals of our said lord the king; and that certain other ships of war of our said lord the king, were then preparing to join the said squadron; and that certain other ships of war of our said lord the king, had sailed under the command of Murray, esq. then being one of the officers in the navy of our said lord the king, and the place of the destination thereof: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the 5th day of September, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain other account, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said last mentioned account, the said Francis Henry De la Motte (among other things) falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the number and force of the ships of war of our said lord the king, then being in certain ports within this kingdom, equipped for service; and also the number and force of other ships of war of our said lord the king, then cruizing against the enemies of our said lord the king, under the command of Robert Digby , esq. then being one other of the admirals of our said lord the king; and also the number and force of the ships of war of our said lord the king, then repairing in certain ports within this kingdom; and the times when certain other ships or vessels, belonging to certain subjects of our said lord the king, were expected to arrive in this kingdom, from the dominions of our said lord the king, and other places in parts beyond the seas; and the times when certain other ships or vessels, belonging to certain other subjects of our said lord the king, were then expected to sail from this kingdom to the dominions of our said lord the king, and other places in parts beyond the seas: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the 17th day of November, in the 21st year of the reign of our said lord the king, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain other letter, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said last mentioned letter, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, (among other things) falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the time when a squadron of ships of war of our said lord the king, under the command of George Darby , esq. then being one of the admirals of our said lord the king, and then employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war, was expected to return to this kingdom: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the said 17th day of November, in the 21st year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain account, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said last mentioned account, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, (among other things) falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed, and revealed to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the number of the land and sea forces of our said lord the king in this kingdom, and other the dominions of our said lord the king beyond the seas; and also the number of seamen in the services of our said lord the king: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the 1st day of December, in the 21st year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain other letter, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which said last mentioned letter, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously notified, disclosed and revealed (among other things) to the said enemies of our said lord the king, the time of the sailing of a squadron of ships of war, of our said lord the king, under the command of Sir Samuel Hood , then being one of the admirals of our said lord the king, from this kingdom, and the destination of the said squadron: and the said Francis Henry De la Motte, on the same day and year last mentioned, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, in prosecution of, and to promote his treason, imaginations, and compassings aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously did send, and procure to be sent, all and singular the said several letters, instructions in writing, accounts or lists, and accounts or states herein before mentioned to have been wrote and composed, and caused and procured to have been wrote and composed, by him the said Francis Henry De la Motte, from the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, to be delivered in parts beyond the seas, to several subjects of the said French king, then and yet being enemies of our said lord the king: and that, during the said war, to wit, on the 30th day of June, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, and in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously did retain, hire, and procure, and cause to be retained, hired, and procured, one Stephen Ratcliffe , then and there being the master of a certain ship or vessel, to carry and convey, in the said ship or vessel, from this kingdom to the kingdom of France, and there to deliver to certain subjects of the said French king, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king, certain letters and instructions, in writing, to inform the said French king and his subjects, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king, of the state, condition, destination, and stations of the naval and military forces of this kingdom; and other advice and intelligence, to enable and assist the said French king and his subjects in the prosecution and carrying on of the said war against our said lord the king and his subjects.

If you are still with us and wish to read the rest of this opinion, you can find it here.

11,000-Word Sentence from a Medicare Law

Anything done by a state legislature or a trial court is just begging to be outdone at the federal level. In enacting 42 U.S. Code § 1396(a), Congress provided clear, helpful guidance for the states to follow when developing an approved plan to provide medical assistance to their residents. The opening sentence of this statute is a whopping 11,000 words. In the interest of not exceeding our allowed memory space in our WordPress account, we will not reprint this eye-gouging, unforgivable offense against the English language and all human decency product of the reasoned minds of democracy’s finest elected representatives. If you are so inclined, you may read the sentence in question here.


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