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?!