Pi v. Delta
In law student notes, plaintiffs are commonly denoted by π, and defendants by Δ. Even as I slavishly replicated this tradition as a student, I never understood it. Why are plaintiffs associated with “infinite . . . expansion . . . an irrational . . . indeed, a transcendental . . . expression“? And defendants a symbol variously matched with a proofreading symbol for deletion, the difference operator, and baryons?
Paging Nate Oman: a neat history of law problem to answer!
Update: An actual case suggests the practice is old. Pi v. Delta, 175 Conn. 527, 534, 400 A.2d 709 (1978) was a strange habeas proceeding for custody of a child. The case name is, alas, a fiction:
Upon the suggestion of the parties and in accordance with the spirit and intent of the order of the Superior Court granting the plaintiff’s motion to substitute fictitious names, it is ordered that the names of the parties involved in this appeal shall not be disclosed and that the records and briefs shall not be distributed to the various libraries of the state by the Reporter of Judicial Decisions. The records and papers of this case shall be open for inspection only to persons having a proper interest therein and upon order of this court.