[sic]” notation (in that State
, it is “Court of Appeal
,” not “Court of Appeals
After we review and typeset your original copy, we hand both the original and the typeset versions over to a team of two readers. The first proofreader reads aloud from the original, and the other proofreader follows along with the typeset proof, inserting notations as necessary. This method feeds the text through four mental screening processes: read the original, convert to spoken language, listen to the verbalized text, and match to the visualized typeset copy. The technique is “old school,” and it is the only process thorough enough for a Supreme Court filing.
And they’re fast. A proofreading team can typically read, annotate and process about 25 formatted pages an hour.
A proofreader’s job is not to correct the text, but to note possible errors for the drafter to consider. When proofreaders encounter a potential problem—whether it be a language, grammar, formatting, or rule compliance issue—they annotate the typeset proof with special marks that concisely identify their concern or question. You can see a few of the more common proofreaders’ marks here. After reviewing the annotated proof, the drafter can then discuss changes with our corrections specialists, who will make the final adjustments before printing.
Professional proofreading is not for everyone. It requires focus and stamina. And the best readers can maintain a critical distance from the subjects they read. Supreme Court briefing can be dry and technical, or it can be profound and emotional. A proofreader must be able to expertly evaluate the text regardless of the nature of the document.
In return, Supreme Court brief proofreaders get a rare chance to peer into the inner workings of current events, and watch as they become history. They have read the fine details of the most profound civic controversies of our time, such as gay marriage, Obamacare, campaign finance, gun rights, and capital punishment. They are also privy to a comprehensive survey of the many legal disputes that never make it to the front page. If you want to know what’s going on in America today, ask a Cockle proofreader.
*Spacing between “F.” and “3d,” and a 2- or 3-digit number range style.