An attorney in Cleveland admitted to her colleagues last week that she read an entire reported legal case and did not just skim it for legal quotes to include in a brief.
Carla J. Atkins, who practices ERISA law in a small firm in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, said the experience “wasn’t so bad. I mean, it got boring along the way but if you chug ahead knowing it’s going to end, the time goes by quickly.” Her colleagues, however, were dumbfounded, with one work partner saying that reading an entire case “is so retro old school. Next thing we know, she’ll be using parallel citations. Wow. Just wow. An entire case.”
Atkins has played down the accomplishment, saying it’s not something she does often. “I probably read an entire case three or four times a year. And it’s not as if I’m reading classics. It’s mostly pulp cases, filler even.”