Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Deleting the Preantepenultimate and Antepenultimate Paragraphs

Why waste a hyphen when multiple prefixes will do?

This morning I received a batch of Google Scholar email alerts.  I discovered Google Scholar in 2009 and blogged more in depth about it in 2015One of my Google Scholar alerts is "intitle:insurance" in Google Scholar's New York state and federal case databases.  It reports new cases with "insurance" in the case title to me.  I also have "intitle:mutual" and "intitle:casualty" alerts set up and running.

Anyway, one of the cases reported in this morning's Google Scholar alerts email was Toussie v. Allstate, a consolidated, federal court first-party property coverage action involving a flood claim and a theft claim related to Hurricane Sandy.  Now, to someone geographically challenged like me, Brooklyn and waterfront property seem not to belong in the same sentence.  But the plaintiffs lived at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in the Manhattan Beach area of Brooklyn, just around the bend of Breezy Point Tip.  They claimed flood damage to and the looting theft of personal property, including $350,000 in fine arts, from their home after Hurricane Sandy.

Allstate's investigation of the plaintiff's theft loss uncovered evidence that the plaintiffs may have moved upwards of 190 boxes of personal property from their home to storage before the hurricane and sought access to those boxes.  Motion practice ensued, and ensued, and ensued when plaintiff reportedly resisted and then allegedly obstructed the inspection of boxes of plaintiffs' personal property stored at Christie's.  Within those decisions of the assigned magistrate judge are some interesting and potential useful rulings on the scope and court-supervision of discovery in a first-party property coverage case, so I commend them to your review.   In her first decision the magistrate judge displayed her facility with English composition with statements such as, "Plaintiffs' concerns are not tethered to the realities of these cases."

But what made me pause this morning was spotting two words I had not seen used before in any reported decisions, much less ones relating to insurance claims.  In relation to a motion made by plaintiffs' counsel to withdraw as counsel, the same magistrate judge modified her prior rulings on what was to be filed under seal and what was to be redacted from withdrawing counsel's motion:
Specifically, the Court finds that the preantepenultimate and antepenultimate paragraphs of the motions pose a risk of adversely affecting plaintiffs' interests in other pending litigation not before this Court.  (Bold added.)
Cool.  Before looking those words up (as I did), you can figure out their meanings.  If ultimate means last, and penultimate means next to last, then antepenultimate must mean, that's right, third from last, and preantepenultimate must mean fourth from last, prefixes being what they are and do, that is.  

By the way and in case you're interested (and still reading this), antepenultimate has appeared 41 times in reported case law (that's reported by Google Scholar) and preantepenultimate has appeared only twice.  Alas, propreantepenultimate (fifth from last position) has appeared ... never.

I like words.  Guess that's why insurance coverage work suits me.

No comments: