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“v.” versus “vs.”

Legendary litigators: I write to you on an issue that is ambulancechaser201309/05/18
None of the above. It is "v (without period)." If you are nycatt09/05/18
vs. End of story. El fin. No mas. isthisit09/05/18
"Which is the “right” way and what does it say about you jeffm09/05/18
At larger firms, some a-holes care about this type of thing. nycatt09/05/18
This thread reminds me of the guy in my law school class who flharfh09/05/18
Two spaces helps with readability. I am a one spacer out of jorgedeclaro09/05/18
OP, I just want to commend you on your username. It conveys trickydick09/05/18
Listen to this man OP. You don't want to end up faking it on isthisit09/05/18
ambulancechaser2013 (Sep 5, 2018 - 12:51 pm)

Legendary litigators:

I write to you on an issue that is near and dear to my heart, the ubiquitous v versus vs. we often see in the caption of a lawsuit.

You know what I’m talking about, some law firms use John Smith vs. Jane Doe others use John Smith v. Jane Doe.

Which is the “right” way and what does it say about you as a lawyer?

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nycatt (Sep 5, 2018 - 3:28 pm)

None of the above. It is "v (without period)." If you are in New York, anyway.

This link has the right answers to all style questions in New York, even though older attorneys and judges will do whatever they damn well please, thank you very much!

https://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/style-manual/2017/2017-SM.htm

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isthisit (Sep 5, 2018 - 1:07 pm)

vs. End of story. El fin. No mas.

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jeffm (Sep 5, 2018 - 3:26 pm)

"Which is the “right” way and what does it say about you as a lawyer?"

It says that if you have a strong opinion on this, your mind is easily preoccupied with unimportant details.

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nycatt (Sep 5, 2018 - 3:39 pm)

At larger firms, some a-holes care about this type of thing. As someone who has worked in large and small firms and who spent a lot of time in court and writing and filing motions, I found that it doesn't matter, but it is worth following NY style guide just to avoid the a-holes. For non-NY practice, I have no idea.

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flharfh (Sep 5, 2018 - 8:01 pm)

This thread reminds me of the guy in my law school class who was always preoccupied with font selection and whether you should put two spaces after a period or just one.

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jorgedeclaro (Sep 5, 2018 - 10:06 pm)

Two spaces helps with readability. I am a one spacer out of habit, but assuming my legal assistant has time, they are directed as part of review to dounless space all of my single spaces after periods.

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trickydick (Sep 5, 2018 - 10:37 pm)

OP, I just want to commend you on your username. It conveys an earnest interest in the legal profession while simultaneously conveying the fact that you pursue ambulances for profit and that it is the year 2013. It strikes a fine balance between known and unknown quantifiers. Long time lurker, first time poster?

To answer the substance of your question, I once had a client who was homeless and living on the street. I settled his claim and I was waiting on the carrier to issue the check. He called me every day from a pay phone and asked me when he was going to get his check. I told him I was working on it. He would laugh ruefully and ask me if he had to die before he got his check. I assured him day after day that this wouldn’t be necessary. Then one day I got a call from the coroner’s office letting me know that my client had been found dead on a sidewalk, my business card had been found on his person, and they were calling to find out if there was any next of kin. Failing that they were wondering if they could be reimbursed for burial expenses out of his settlement. A few days later his settlement check arrived in the mail. After a diligent search, no family members were ever located. I kept his uncashed settlement check in the drawer of my desk as a perpetual reminder that all things must end. This is a completely true story that actually happened.

So to recap, I shouldn’t have to tell you the proper way to abbreviate the word “versus” in a caption for a legal matter. But you better know the answer. Because if you get it wrong, you will get your sorry ass fired and end up on the street like a lowly dog scrummaging with drug addicts and diseased whores for whatever scraps of food you can dig out of the trash and you will be the world’s sorriest son of a b*tch.

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isthisit (Sep 5, 2018 - 11:52 pm)

Listen to this man OP. You don't want to end up faking it on the streets.

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