Quotes are handled with varying styles in different reports

Regarding report quotations, aside from frequency their content and layout offers another way to differentiate reports. Choosing five reports at random, we can deduce some preliminary observations about both content and design choices. The four reports are Allen Matkins CommlRE 2018, Dykema Gossett MA 2017, Mayer Brown Privacy 2015, Morrison Foerster GC Disruption 2017, and Squire Sanders Retail 2013.

Neither Mayer Brown nor Dykema Gossett made use of any quotations (at least quotations that were set off from the main text). One might assume, therefore, that they neither asked for any free-text responses in their questionnaire nor conducted interviews of any of the respondents. Furthermore, they also chose not to obtain comments from any partners of the firm or to draw on material from other sources.

Taking a different tack, Squire Sanders and Morrison Foerster included in their reports what I have termed “anonymous quotes.” The image below shows a Morrison Foerster anonymous quote that is in a different type font from the main text, has quotation marks and a border around it, and nestles in a call-out box! Do you notice it? It credits no identified person with the quote, hence it is anonymous. That report scatters through its 26 pages a dozen anonymous quotes.

Someone reading the anonymous quotes would be forgiven for wondering whether the comments were manufactured. They seem to be simply emphasizing some point that the firm wanted to stress. When Squire Sanders inserted an anonymous quote, they sometimes used red font to highlight it.

The best use-of-quotes award goes to Alan Matkins. They cite specific individuals at named companies, sometimes placing their remarks alone on full-page photo or putting a box around them to make them more noticeable. Here is an example of this design-cum-content style.

On one page, the firm placed four boxes that contain quotes from three partners of the firm and one person at the co-sponsoring university.

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