August 20, 2010

Supreme Court lingo 101: the “doghouse”

If you spend a fair amount of time reviewing the Supreme Court’s on-line dockets, chances are you’ve seen an entry like this: “Received Court of Appeal record – #B211932 – one doghouse.” But what’s a doghouse? We know the courts are not in the business of transporting canine domiciles. Well, it turns out a “doghouse” is nothing more than a file folder, which the Court of Appeal sometimes uses to transport its file to the Supreme Court when a petition for review is filed. They look like this:

3 Responses to “Supreme Court lingo 101: the “doghouse””

  1. Yes, but is this specific to the Appellate Courts? Where the heck did the term “doghouse” come from when referring to a file folder? I wonder…

  2. From where? Just from elementary disrespect to litigants. That is.

    This is not a “file folder”, but a box or container to load file folders if stay on the said interpretation;

    My predictably disappeared interpretation was called out due this offensive language, because behind “file folders” are not always greedy and unprincipled lawyers, but sometimes real people, their lives and hopes.

    Legal language they talk to parties is not supposed to be a street language, even so for purposes of package careers.

  3. I agree that it’s disrespectful language. It’s the kind of “professional” disrespect that allows doctors to refer to “the kidney transplant in Rm 3” instead of “Mr. Johnson.” People tend to get “hardened” when facing an overload of work that tempts them to objectify and dehumanize real people. While this is understandable, the standards of civil society and human decency should correct this tendency and make it unacceptable. People who are permitted to disrespect, objectify and dehumanize others should not be allowed to get away with it. They should be called out, respectfully but confidently, without apology or defensiveness. They are wrong. Indeed, we are showing them a kindness by pointing out how they can improve their manners and dignity, and by expressing how hurtful their words and implicit bias are to other people.

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