Was it the cost that bothered the judge or the wordiness?

In a case dating back to 1595, the court punished a claimant who did ‘draw, devise and engross’ paperwork which amounted to six score sheets of paper, or 120 pages.

The court’s view was that it could have been contrived (or written) in sixteen sheets.

His punishment?

The warden was to cut a hole in the middle of the excessive paperwork, put the writer’s head through the hole with the writing uppermost, and lead him ‘bare headed and bare faced’ around Westminster Hall in full view of the courts. Afterwards he was to be kept prisoner until he paid a fine of 10l as well as costs to the other party ‘in respect of the abuse’.

What should you do?

Be concise, lest you too suffer the wroth of the court!

Case: Mylward v Weldon [1595] EWHC Ch 1

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