Slashes in Legal Writing

I’m not a student.  I found your web page while looking for a certain use of slashes.  I thought maybe you might know something about it.

In the legal field, we sometimes use slashes to indicate that there is nothing following the text when there is extra space at the end of a page.  An example would be when a heading falls at the bottom of the page in a brief.  You put in a hard page break to put the heading at the top of the next page, but that leaves a rather large area at the bottom that you don’t want some unscrupulous individual to fill with a paragraph that you did not write.  It has been common practice to use centered, spaced slashes indicating the text has stopped on this page and will resume on the next page.

My question is, is there a standard as to how many slashes are used and how far apart they should be spaced?  And, if there is a rather large empty space, should you place a second set a little further down?

/    /    /    /    /

I asked for permission to post this question here.  In the The Aspen Handbook for Legal Writers, a section on slashes does not mention the use described here.

I’m no legal expert, but my legal researcher (a bright 12-year-old named G. Oogle) reveals a case that “held that a virgule (‘/’), when placed between two names, is unambiguous and specifically indicates the check is payable in the alternative.”

It seems to me that the best thing to do would be to follow whatever conventions you observe in other published writing. If there is a specific rule, I’m not sure what it is or where to look.  Certainly there are plenty of legal blogs (blawgs) out there.

3 thoughts on “Slashes in Legal Writing

  1. My sister sent me these links… must be legible with no blank spaces in any area of the documentation.  If space is left on a line or in a space on a form, draw a line through the space to the end of the line.  For large areas not used on a form or page, use diagonal lines to mark through the area. diagonal lines to fill larger blank spaces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *