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Why do lawyers refer to long documents as briefs and
18-year olds as infants? Why do they use so much Latin when so few of their
clients are Ancient Romans? Is it a conspiracy?


Party of the First Part has the answers! Check out the Website for the
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columns; tips on writing legal documents in plain English; and more!



Saturday, October 27, 2007

Update on "Blight"

As reported right here at POFP a few weeks ago, defining the word "blight" has become a hot legal topic. That because the, um, innovative decision in Kelo v. City of New London strengthened the hand of cities that want to assert eminent domain over "blighted" neighborhoods. By an interesting coincidence, Golden Gobbledygook Award winner Paul Sherman litigates bogus-blight cases for a living. Paul writes:
Your readers might be interested to know that in Lakewood, Ohio, houses were considered blighted if they lacked attached two-car garages, three bedrooms, or two full bathrooms; even the Mayor's house was blighted under this definition (More information on the Lakewood case is available here: http://www.ij.org/private_property/lakewood/backgrounder.html). And if you or your readers would like to see what "blight" looks like, you can check out pictures of these charming houses from Norwood, Ohio, all declared "blighted": http://www.ij.org/private_property/norwood/norwood_homes.html

As a New York City resident, turns out that most of my friends and I have lived in blight conditions for years. But then we suspected as much. Fortunately, Paul's organization, Institute for Justice, was able to help prevent the condemnation in both of these cases.