LWR Dozers Beware

CNN had this article on their main page today, Justice gets wrong statute, pays $100M price

"Poorly written Justice Department documents cost the federal government more than $100 million in what was supposed to have been the crowning moment of the biggest tax prosecution ever.

Walter Anderson, the telecommunications entrepreneur who admitted hiding hundreds of millions of dollars from the IRS and District of Columbia tax collectors, was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison and ordered to repay about $23 million to the city.

But U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said he couldn't order Anderson to repay the federal government $100 million to $175 million because the Justice Department's binding plea agreement with Anderson listed the wrong statute."

Hmm...they listed the wrong statute in the plea agreement and didn't include standard discussion of probation which would have allowed them to recoup the money as part of the terms of probation. Wow! Somebody didn't pay attention in legal writing and research class. I bet somebody at the DOJ got an earful. Must remember, LWR has a purpose, must not fall asleep. I guess schools like Seattle U. and Gonzaga which have multi-year writing programs that count towards your GPA are onto something. This is a skill that lawyers need. LWR is one of the few skills based classes in law school so take advantage of the feedback before you do something in the real world that makes you look really stupid.