Professor Lee F. Peoples of the Oklahoma City University School of Law has posted the abstract of his new article, entitled The Citation of Blogs in Judicial Opinions, on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
“This article reports the results of an exhaustive study examining the citation of blogs in judicial opinions. The article begins with an exploration of opinions citing blogs for their discussion of substantive legal issues. The unique status enjoyed by several boutique blogs is examined including the importance of Douglas Berman’s Sentencing Law and Policy blog in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Blakely and Booker decisions. The citation of blogs for factual information is discussed and the impact of these citations on litigants’ constitutional and procedural rights, the law of evidence, judicial ethics, and the judicial role in the common law adversarial system are explored.
“Serious questions about the preservation of blogs cited in judicial opinions have yet to be answered. They way that blogs are cited in judicial opinions varies widely. Some judges do not provide enough information to accurately retrieve the blog post viewed by the court. Blog entries frequently change after they are posted. Some blog entries and entire blogs disappear without warning. There is currently no uniform approach to archiving or preserving blogs. Detailed statistics on the completeness and accuracy of citations to blogs in judicial opinions are provided. A set of best practices detailing when and how blogs should be cited is proposed. The Judicial Conference’s recently released Guidelines on Citing To, Capturing, and Maintaining Internet Resources in Judicial Opinions are discussed and critiqued. Solutions explored at the Future of Today’s Legal Scholarship Symposium held at the Georgetown Law Center in July of 2009 are evaluated. The article concludes with a discussion of the impact of blogs on the future of the law.”