The ABA Journal reports today that a judge in New York dismissed a motion for default judgment partly because it had been so poorly stapled.
It appears that the staple or staples used were inadequately closed during the stapling process, causing one or more staple points to protrude. According to Supreme Court Judge Charles Markey, the resulting brief posed a risk to court clerks, and did in fact cause injury: "The poor stapling of the papers," he wrote, "was so negligent as to inflict, and did inflict repeatedly, physical injury to the court personnel handling them." (The court's order does not give any details of the staple-related injuries, which I hope means they were minor.) "Such negligence on the part of counsel shows a lack of consideration."
The seemingly harsh result is probably also explained by the fact that the case had reportedly been separately filed as another type of action, so that the plaintiff would not be prejudiced by losing one of them on negligent-stapling grounds.
The plaintiff's lawyer told the New York Law Journal that this was an "isolated occurrence," and that he had successfully stapled and lodged more than 5,000 other filings without injuring anyone.
Link: ABA Journal
Link: New York Law Journal (registration required)
Link: Supreme Court Jester