A blog on practice in the Nation’s second-most powerful court

D.C. Circuit puts Garamond font on the naughty list

Without formally banning it, the D.C. Circuit has announced that wise lawyers will forgo using Garamond font:

Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32(a)(5) requires courts of appeal to accept briefs in any proportional typeface so long as the typeface has serifs and is at least 14-point in size. However, the court has determined that certain typefaces, such as Century and Times New Roman, are more legible than others, particularly Garamond, which appears smaller than the other two typefaces. Today the court announces a revision to the Circuit’s Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures to encourage the use of typefaces that are easier to read and to discourage use of Garamond.

Some speculate that this announcement was aimed at DOJ’s civil division, which often appears in the D.C. Circuit and uses Garamond font.  And understandably so:  The font squeezes more letters into a page than Times New Roman and far (far) more than fonts in the Century family.  Presumably that saves taxpayer printing dollars.  And it is handsome (except for its squinched-up italics). 

But apparently it’s just too hard on judicial eyes.

Farewell Garamond—in the D.C. Circuit.*

*Practitioners in the Upper Midwest may wonder what took the D.C. Circuit so long.  Garamond has long been frowned upon in the Seventh Circuit.