A New York federal judge unleashed a tirade against three law firms, threatening sanctions, because of oversized filings at court “brimming with irrelevant and redundant allegations” in a trademark suit. He ordered them to trim down their pleadings to be short and plain.

The court said the voluminous pleading is self-defeating because it chokes the file and obscures otherwise meritorious claims and defences.

In one case a relatively straightforward claim consisted of 175 paragraphs larded with more than 1 400 pages of exhibits. The judge threatened sanctions if the parties did not file documents “stripped of surplusage”.

The overload of information in the modern world is going to lead many judges to take this position.

(The UPS Store, Inc. et al. v Hagan et al.)