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50-State & Fed Legal Typography Guide?

KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

After getting feedback on my recent article https://lawyerist.com/115103/hey-hey-ho-ho-19th-century-fonts-got-go/ about lawyers' use of fonts, it occurred to me that it would be great if we had a complete guide to the court rules affecting typography and what fonts lawyers may use in court filings.

Two questions:

(1) Does something like this already exist?

(2) If not, what would be the best way to put it together and keep it updated, at the minimum cost and effort?


  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    If it doesn't exist, let's put it on Lawyerist! I'd think a spreadsheet would do, and we can convert it to a searchable, sortable table. People will probably help out by letting us know if it needs to be updated.

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    In response to 2, the way you're probably going to have to put this together is by researching each jurisdiction yourself. Or sucker a law student into doing it for you. You can try to crowdsource it, but even if you do get some help, you will probably wind up with lots of jurisdictions you need to look up on your own.

  • thedanshermanthedansherman Maple Plain, MN
    edited August 2016

    :: Edited :: I just noticed footnote 6 in your article. :#

    Typography for Lawyers has a bit to say. I think the printed book might have a few more details, but I don't have my copy handy.

  • KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Hmm. Looks like a combination of gruntwork, delgated gruntwork, and crowsourcing are the way to go with this.

  • JohnFromWVJohnFromWV West Virginia

    I went looking for this about 9 months ago and couldn't find anything. I was hoping to find something that both looked nice and worked in all the courts where I practice. Alas, Arial and Times New Roman were as "lingua franca" as I could get. I also have started assembling my own for state and federal courts in the 4th Circuit.

  • This sounds like an interesting project. I'd be curious to know which jurisdictions restrict you. I practice mostly in Michigan—and most often in the state courts—and there are no restrictions on fonts here. I've been following the advice in Typography for Lawyers for a few years now, including using Equity and other professional fonts in my briefing, and have not had a single problem.

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