What's In a Word?


If you have a federal practice, chances are you have encountered Ninth Circuit opinions written by Circuit Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez.  For the uninitiated, Judge Fernandez has made a career of teasing readers by sprinkling obscure words into his opinions that often require resort to the dictionary.  For those amused by this sport, and I admit to being one, the opinions carry a sense of anticipation wholly separate from the legal issue at play.  The eyes scan the pages looking for the unfamiliar arrangement of letters that when found, transmit little more than say, Chinese characters do to the uninitiated.

Usually Judge Fernandez drops one such word in each opinion, but on May 21, 2013 he splurged with a probable three-for-one.  The opinion is Lawrence v. Holder.  Here is the text that might have you headed for the dictionary for the exact definitions:

"Other courts of appeals have agreed, although sometimes with less than hyaline reasoning."

"If we had any remaining doubt, those cases would absterge it."

"Lawrence, . . . hopes to take advantage of the relief provided by [section] 212(c), but that hope has induced him to chase an eidolon."

Well, there you go.  Of course, this game doesn't quite work so well in reverse, right?!

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Archer Norris PLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Archer Norris PLC on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.