Last week, we had a post on a decision in St Marys Cement, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency. While the opinion is a fairly routine application of agency deference principles, one aspect of it caught the attention of some of our readers. In Judge Sutton’s opinion, he includes a lengthy parenthetical about the fact that St. Marys does not have an apostrophe “s.” This prompted a digression about how the Canadian government used to discourage the possessive form of place names whenever possible. This comported with the American experience, as President Benjamin Harrison in 1890 established a board on geographic names, which adopted a policy that achieved the removal of approximately 250,000 apostrophes from federal maps. This war on apostrophes is pretty interesting stuff for the trivia buffs out there, but some questions we received were “why wasn’t this in a footnote?” The reason, at least for this case, is that Judge Sutton simply does not use footnotes. Indeed, we are not aware of any opinions of Judge Sutton’s that actually include a footnote (although we are prepared to be proven wrong on this). We reported awhile back on the growing shift away from footnotes in briefs as a result of judges reading the briefs electronically. All of this is a good reminder about why you should limit, as much as possible, footnotes in your briefs. (And if you want to really get the Court’s attention, find interesting side notes like the history of apostrophes in geographic names!).