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Again, welcome! — billinghurst sDrewth 10:25, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


WikiProject LawEdit

Would you be interested in joining a Wikisource:WikiProject Law? I think it would be useful to centralize templates, resources, discussions, etc. Cheers, stephen (talk) 08:00, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Legalskeptic. You have new messages at Slaporte's talk page.
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WikifyCite ToolEdit

I made this to turn citations into links. It's a work in progress, but if you ever add judicial decisions you may find it useful. stephen (talk) 08:01, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Supreme Court decision categorization by topicEdit

Hello again! I'm starting to think about U.S. Supreme Court decision categorization. If you have any input, it's always greatly appreciated! stephen (talk) 03:26, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank youEdit

Thank you very much, for taking the initiative to create the category, Category:United States Supreme Court decisions on freedom of speech. Perhaps you could create a similar category, for en.wikipedia? -- Cirt (talk) 01:41, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Problems with Supreme Court case naming conventionEdit

Since you work on Supreme Court cases pretty often, I would appreciate your thoughts on the naming convention in this discussion. I realize that moving all the Supreme Court cases is a big task, but I see some big problems with the current approach. stephen (talk) 00:38, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

New templateEdit

Hi! I know you do a lot of US Court of Appeals work, so I made this template: {{US CoA case info}} to list the salient information about a case. Feel free to chop and change, or ignore it, I just thought it would save a lot of duplicated formatting on each page (and it prevents the case nav box breaking the alignment). Cheers, Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 06:38, 12 August 2010 (UTC)


Thanks, that looks great. What I've been trying to do basically is standardize the Court of Appeals cases, and this will help a lot. LegalSkeptic (talk) 15:23, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

U.S.C. AnnotatedEdit

Are you sure its wise to redirect the Annotated citations to the "straight" U.S. code? I mean I know that the annotated version supplements the code beyond whatever is typically found under section "notes", but not sure it's best to give the reader the impression that they are one in the same. No big deal and I won't lose any sleep over it but I wouldn't do any another Titles besides 11 for now. George Orwell III (talk) 04:02, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

If I may chime in, I would be in favor of using a "soft" redirect from U.S.C.A. to U.S.C. A quick search shows that a few pages already up cite to U.S.C.A.: Erhard v. U.S. Civ. No. 93-0725 (1994), Holiday Magic, Inc. v. Warren 357 F.Supp. 20, etc. The soft redirect could notify the user that U.S.C.A. and U.S.C. run parallel, have similar content (such as "42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 is parallel to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, see the U.S. Code for statutory authority.") I think it's a good idea to make some sort of redirects, so we can create a link from a citation to the annotated code to the straight code, especially when we only have the straight code at the moment. A soft redirect is ideal: useful, but avoids giving users the wrong impression. Cheers, stephen (talk) 15:06, 13 August 2010 (UTC)


For what its worth... Even though Stephen seems to be on a vacation - you can still cut down on some of this USC work by messing with what he's finished up coding so far. See the demo BETA HERE and grab the input URLs from FDsys. George Orwell III (talk) 17:58, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Clean Air ActEdit

hello legalskeptic. I was sent to you from George Orwell III because I asked him about the Clean Air Act. What would be the best way to contribute? - Tannertsf (talk) 04:40, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Some citation link thoughtsEdit

I will add the new citation formats you suggested, but this is probably a good time to think about what sort of red links we want to be creating.

Should we anticipate adding both state reporters and regional reporters, even though they will have duplicate content? Should we focus on completing one "set" first? Which one? Will parallel citations be handled by redirects, direct link, or some generic "you just clicked a link from the Nebraska Reporter, please look it up in the North Western Reporter....." For SCOTUS, the approach has been redirects and adding categories such as Category:Parallel to 4 L.Ed. 62 so that I can detect duplicate content in the future (see this query). This is a little more complicated for state supreme court decisions--for example, I don't know off hand if there is any quick way to look up parallel citations. Hope you survived finals! Cheers, stephen (talk) 21:14, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, I survived I suppose. I think we should create links to both sets of reporters and just have both redirect to the case. The redundancy should be less of a concern here than it would be on Wikipedia.
I don't think we should add duplicate copies of the cases themselves, if that's what you mean by adding both reporters. I guess if we get that far, we could add indexes for both sets of reporters so that the cases could be browsed both ways. What I've been trying to do with the state cases that are reported in both state and regional reporters is add both sets of page numbers, e.g., a N.J. case that's reported in the Atlantic Reporter would have [NJ299] and [A41] page numbers in it. - LegalSkeptic (talk) 23:53, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree, redirects are the best way to go. If you happen to find a table of parallel citations, or have a chance to keep track of parallel citations, that will be very helpful down the road. Cheers, stephen (talk) 07:59, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Case disambiguationEdit

Next time, let me know what cases need disambiguation and I will take that on. What you've been doing is basically redirecting the base case name(s) to the first or second case name(s) that happen to have a reporter suffix in the name. Not the same thing.

This is what case disambiguation should look like -- State of Oklahoma v. State of Texas -- when set up to allow for current as well as any future BOT imporation of cases of the same or similar base case names found in later reporters. — George Orwell III (talk) 04:54, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for setting up the Oklahoma v. Texas disambiguation page! I know how disambiguation works, and I've been meaning to set up more disambiguation pages like the that one. What I did was move a page to get rid of the "State of" prefixes, which we've been trying to avoid, and that necessitated adding the reporter suffix. I don't know how to move without creating redirects, and in the case of a redirect like that, I just haven't gotten around to changing it to a disambiguation page. The disambiguation pages haven't been at the top of my to-do list (although that could change). LegalSkeptic (talk) 13:19, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Everson v. Board of Education (330 U.S. 1)Edit

I can't SDELETE Everson v. Board of Education (330 U.S. 1) because it has been brought to my attention that the ref-notes work in this one but not the other. Someone needs to swap those into the one we want to keep for the above to be redundant. — George Orwell III (talk) 07:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I see. I'll put it on my to-do list. LegalSkeptic (talk) 11:55, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


Not sure if you've realized this yet or not but Reports started intentionally leaving gaps in page numbers to leave space for later additions, edits, orders, rulings, etc. and to keep the opinions separate from what basically amounts to hundreds of 3-line entries. See the notice for Vol 516 for example. — George Orwell III (talk) 22:27, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

The rationale for it doesn't make sense to me because the Reports aren't published until a year or so after the decisions... but yeah, I see what you mean. Thanks for figuring that out. LegalSkeptic (talk) 01:11, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I believe you're thinking of the "slip" version(s) which isn't the final print, (a Bound Volume). For example, volume 516 covers the Oct. 1995 term but also reports on 1994's leftovers -- it, however, wasn't released in a bound version until 1998. I thnk this is partly the reason why more and more "weirdness" is occuring, both for BenchBot and for our "manual" contributions/refreshes; most on-line resources were only concerned with the front-matter opinions each term but did a poor job of associating subsequent & relevant changes added as back-matter in the terms that followed (making our disambiguation an even bigger mess than it already is as the same case(names) will be cited more frequently both inter- and intra-volume-wise). — George Orwell III (talk) 04:10, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I suppose I'll keep marking such volumes as red on the Benchbot status page so that stephen can at least be aware that some weirdness might trip up the bot. Not only am I hitting volumes that must have been the slip versions with blank pages, I'm also hitting volumes that have hundreds and hundreds of orders, which I'll go back and format when I'm done with the more normal ones. I'm far enough ahead of Benchbot that I should be able to figure them out before it reaches them anyway. LegalSkeptic (talk) 16:26, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Those hundreds of "orders" crept into the back-matter (the pages after the spacer gap of pages for later additions) of the Reports many volumes back. Like I said they finally got to a point where some of them became relevan or whatever and could no longer be ignored in spite of the fact most of them are 3-line denials for re-hearing or something just as short. — George Orwell III (talk) 18:06, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Couple of updatesEdit

For irc, try this link for casual use

Updates to {{header}}. We now have stopped using Wikisource: namespace for subject matter content and restricting it to Wikisource directional information (and yes it is a grey line) and now have a portal parameter that is built into header as well as some other updates, so you can now pretty much just use override_author as plain text, and add the others as specific parameters to display bits. One of my current (side) tasks at the moment is gently to update all the old Wikisource: backlinks to Portal. — billinghurst sDrewth 01:41, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the info. I'll try to help swap the WS: links for Portal: ones when I'm editing headers. Or since the portal links can be built in, I'm thinking that the "Previous" link on a Supreme Court case should go back to the volume of the US Reports it came from, instead of a potentially redundant portal link. One thing I didn't quite understand: what do you mean by using override_author as plain text? LegalSkeptic (talk) 11:45, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

States codeEdit

Do you think it would be a good idea to add in to wikisource the Codes of the States? I was browsing through the Internet Archive and saw Maryland's. It seemed decent to proofread. And if so, how would we set it up, transclude, etc.? - Tannertsf (talk) 01:21, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

This is something that I've thought of too. I started up a page for the New Jersey Statutes Annotated a while back. I haven't been working on statutes for a while due to some practical issues:
  1. Codified statutes change whenever new statutes are passed. For this reason, it's much easier to add a session law (that is, the statute as passed by the legislature, before it's codified) than it is to add the code. On the federal level, these are the Public Laws (e.g. Copyright Act of 1976).
  2. If you move on despite this first problem, how do you go about handling it? The book versions of codes are only updated every five years or so. You could import the code as published in a certain year, with the understanding that it will be out of date. This is probably the only way to do it with scans and transclusion. Or you could improve it continually, as a database like Westlaw will do with their code service, with the understanding that it will be incomplete and scans may be unavailable.
  3. Codes are fracking huge. Look at how incomplete the United States Code still is. A state code may actually be almost as long, since states have sovereignty over so many issues that the federal government doesn't mess with, like family law for example.

That said, I would love to have state codes on WS. It's a good idea on the merits. LegalSkeptic (talk) 11:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

My original idea was to add in the codes I could find on the Archive. I don't think we would be wise in trying to act out a database like you mentioned...I think if we start by just getting them on here and transcluded the right way, we're all set. Do all states have codes? It would help so then I could look for them easily instead of searching through the whole Archive. - Tannertsf 13:03, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

As far as I know, every state has a code. One thing to look out for while searching is that not every state will call it a Code. New Jersey just calls its code the New Jersey Statutes. LegalSkeptic (talk) 13:15, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Do you think you could help me find these codes? - Tannertsf 13:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Maybe, if you provide a link to the archive you're searching. The best searches would be state names followed by either Code or Statutes. LegalSkeptic (talk) 14:19, 9 May 2011 (UTC) - Tannertsf 14:57, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

They have a lot of very old ones:
Here are some more from the Hathi Trust:
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