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In the end, of course, elections are about numbers. Here are three that we all should know by now: Four: Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s margin of victory, if he holds on to win Florida, over Vice President Al Gore in the Electoral College. 537: Bush’s certified margin of victory in Florida, out of more than 6 million votes cast. 337,576: Gore’s margin of victory over Bush out 100 million votes cast around the country. But when Election 2000 turned into Litigation 2000, it brought about an immediate mobilization of lawyers that produced other breathtaking statistics. Consider the following facts, many gathered from a fabulous Internet site operated by the Stanford University Law Library ( http://www.law.stanford.edu/library/ reserves/electionmain.html): Since Nov. 8, the day the first challenge of a butterfly ballot appeared in Palm Beach County, litigants have filed at least 32 separate lawsuits, plus associated appeals. This work has required more than 250 lawyers, at least 53 judges, and heaven knows how many Xerox machines. That’s at least 10 lawyers for every one of Florida’s 25 electoral votes. Put another way, that’s at least one election attorney for every five votes that Gore gained between election night and the Nov. 26 certified recount. However, the exact head count of J.D.s on the scene in Florida and elsewhere may never be known. “We have lawyers all over the country working on these projects,” says Carolyn Utrecht, campaign counsel for Gore and a partner in D.C.’s Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon. “I don’t think anybody knows for sure how many people have been involved. Each person we contact brings in friends and colleagues to help.” That help has produced a mountain of paper. As of Dec. 6, the Stanford site offered links to at least 630 documents-petitions, responses, replies, motions for emergency injunctive relief, memorandums of facts, and even three notices of scrivener’s errors-that have been filed in courts in Florida, New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. “Every night there’s more,” says Erika Wayne, the Stanford librarian who has been downloading the documents from court sites or scanning them in when faxed to the library from lawyers. Wayne acknowledges her database is anything but a complete list of filings from the widespread litigation. “We’re grabbing a lot of things just as we find them,” she adds. Compare Wayne’s “incomplete” list with official court dockets for United States v. Microsoft, a beast of litigation if ever there was one. This 30-month-long odyssey — which has gone through a trial court, the Supreme Court and now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — has produced 659 legal filings. With filing returns not yet complete, the election litigation may yet surpass the Microsoft antitrust case. But one of Bill Gates’ principal lawyers is not going to concede so quickly. Sullivan & Cromwell partner John Warden points out that “literally millions of documents” were produced for the Microsoft trial, regardless of how many actual docket entries were made. Warden compares the fast-paced lawyering in Florida to hostile takeover litigation he’s worked on: “You churn out a lot of paper in a short period of time.” Indeed, here’s what the U.S. Supreme Court’s 12-day role in the drama required: � One hundred eleven lawyers: 15 for Gore, 14 for Bush, eight for Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and four for Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth. The rest represented nine amici offering their advice or news media begging to televise oral arguments. � Thirty-seven briefs or motions, totaling 1,088 pages (and each copied 40 times, according to high court rules). � A rare 90-minute oral argument, as opposed to the usual hour-long arguments. � And, of course, nine justices and at least some of their 35 law clerks. What came of all that legal firepower? An unsigned decision explaining the need for clarification from the Florida Supreme Court. Total pages: Seven. One hopes the justices will understand if it takes some time before their counterparts in Tallahassee get back to them with more information. Since the Florida high court got dragged into this mess, it has issued at least 46 orders and decision in presidential election cases. Most have been easy, one-page affairs regarding procedural matters, but others have been highly significant. Two were major decisions drafted barely a day after oral arguments — the Nov. 21 unanimous decision extending the deadline for Katherine Harris to accept manual recounts and today’s 4-3 blockbuster ordering manual recounts of so-called undervotes throughout Florida. Along with the 16 justices of the U.S. and Florida high courts, two federal appeals courts are weighing into the election. On Dec. 6, the 12 judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit voted 8-4 to reject Bush’s challenge of manual recounts. The following day, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit in New Orleans agreed to hear a 12th Amendment challenge to the constitutionality of Dick Cheney’s candidacy for vice-president. At least six Florida Court of Appeals judges have gotten involved for long enough to authorize a case to bypass them and go directly to the state Supreme Court. On the front lines have been at least 14 state and federal trial judges, handling everything from pro se interventions by angry citizens to the two-day trial on Gore’s election contest, presided over by Leon County Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls. (Lawyers filed at least 167 documents in that proceeding.) Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jorge LaBarga won the honor of handling at least 13 cases when six judges before him recused for one reason or another. Judge Nikki Ann Clark presided over challenges to absentee voters in Seminole County, despite a recusal motion by the Bush team alleging she might not be impartial because Bush’s brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, had bypassed her for a seat on a higher court. Perhaps two scrivener’s error notices, listed in the contest trial documents from Judge Saul’s court, best show the speed and intensity of this litigation. In one notice, the Gore team identified and corrected four mistakes — numbers that had been improperly typed. The Bush team, in a shining example of just how swiftly all the election litigation has run its course, said its errors were “too numerous to list individually” and submitted corrected copies of its briefs. Legal Times reporter Vanessa Blum contributed to this report.

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