Friday, July 31, 2009

US Federal Courts on Internet Materials in Opinions

An article in the July, 2009 edition of the US Federal Court newsletter, The Third Branch, titled: Internet Material in Opinions: Citations and Hyperlinking notes recent work by The Judical Conference.  The article states:
"The Judicial Conference has issued a series of suggested practices to assist courts in the use of Internet materials in opinions."
One example of the guidelines is:
"If a webpage is cited, chambers staff preserve the citation by downloading a copy of the site&39;s page and filing it as an attachment to the judicial opinion in the Judiciary&39;s Case Management/Electronic Case Files System."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Graphical Visualization Tools

There has been some very interesting work posted recently at Wolfram Research on graphical presentation of complex relationships.  Everyday courts are faced with complex relationships such as those between family members as well as legal precident and cases.  The Wolfram demonstrations show how these kinds of relationships might be displayed graphically to show both the whole and details of the issue.  But it is difficult to explain how this works without seeing the demonstrations.  The first demonstration, Geneology Graphs from XML allows for several different views of the descendants of first US President, George Washington.  The demonstration can be found at:

A second demonstration, shows graphically how common law legal cases cite one another can be viewed at:

This exciting and interesting work deserves attention from the court community.

In order to interact with the demonstrations you will need to download and install the free Wolfram Mathematica Player 7.  You may have to ask your system manager to allow you to do this if your PC is locked.