IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
November 20, 2012
MICHELE F. O'BRYAN, PLAINTIFF,
POSTRACK TECHNOLOGIES, INC., DONALD HEIDRICH, MARK AUBRY, WILLIAM WASHBURN, AND STEVEN GONZALO, DEFENDANTS.
POSTRACK TECHNOLOGIES, INC., MICHELE F. O'BRYAN AND DOUGLAS SPITZ, COUNTER AND THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
This Court has received five separate answers, filed by defendants PosTrack Technologies, Inc. ("PosTrack"),*fn1 Donald Heidrich, Mark Aubry, William Washburn and Steven Gonzalo, to the Complaint filed against them by Michele O'Bryan. That delivery to this Court complied with the requirement of this District Court's LR 5.2(f) as to electronically filed documents -- a requirement colloquially referred to as the delivery of a "courtesy copy."
Regrettably, although perhaps lawyers cannot be expected to look at matters from the perspective of the judges to whom their cases are assigned, the current filings do not accord this Court the full "courtesy" that it hopes to be provided in the litigation process. Some added thought would bring counsel to realize that this Court reads all of the filings in cases assigned to its calendar, and having to wade through 91 pages of pleadings (31 in the PosTrack filing and 15 in each of the four individual Answers) imposes a needless extra burden on this Court. Indeed, because one of the important functions of notice pleading is to identify just which aspects of each defendant's factual and legal position are on the same page and which are not, such separate filings by the same law firm are a disservice rather than a service.
That being said, this Court has not undertaken the chore of parsing all of the current pleadings. Instead it strikes them as needlessly prolix, with leave granted of course to file a single responsive pleading on behalf of all defendants on or before December 7, 2012. If however defense counsel's best judgment is that the case is better presented by a stand-alone response by PosTrack coupled with a combined response on the part of the four individual defendants, the PosTrack pleading will not be stricken and counsel may proceed as to the four individuals.