Delightfully geeky news story about a legal kerfuffle over typefaces

I’m very amused at this nerdy news story about some tension between a judge who asks for legible documents and a lawyer who files documents with flasher typography.
While I recognize that language changes and the distinction between “font” and “typeface” is unimportant to the general public, I teach my journalism students that historically the term “font” referred to variations like bold or italics; but the options that most word processors list under the menu item “Font” (like Times New Roman or Comic Sans), are typefaces.
And by the way, a few years ago when I asked a student “What word processor do you youse?” and I got a blank response. I had to follow up with, “Did you use Word, or Pages, or Google Docs?” Even then, the student couldn’t answer, so I asked her to show me.
Writing in Palatino Linotype, Easterbrook warned against display faces that “wear out judicial eyes after just a few pages and make understanding harder.”
“We hope that Bernhard Modern has made its last appearance in an appellate brief,” the Monday ruling said.
State and federal courts across the country all have their own practice rules or guidance. There are rules for word counts and filing deadlines. There are rules about excessive footnotes and obscure acronyms. The Chicago-based 7th Circuit’s own typography guidance, opens new tab runs seven pages.
Easterbrook’s opinion, now part of that canon, made a splash in legal circles on social media. In a post on X, Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Perkins said the 7th Circuit’s new guidance on fonts will be “required reading for clerks in my chambers.” —Reuters

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