Friday, 10 April 2009

Changes in West key number system

West has announced significant changes in their headnote system in several areas, resulting in the reclassification of more than 300,000 headnotes. The changes include the following:
Two new digest topics: The topic Privileged Communications and Confidentiality encompasses privilege issues arising in discovery and at trial and contains expanded classifications covering attorney-client privilege, physician-patient privilege, and executive privilege. The topic Protection of Endangered Persons covers such areas as restraining orders and other protection from domestic violence, harassment, and stalking; guardian ad litem appointments; agency investigations and liabilities; and criminal and civil liability.
Complete revision of four topics: The topics Convicts and Prisons were completely revised, with many lines afforded to concepts increasingly important in modern cases, e.g., boot camps. The topic Disorderly Conduct was greatly expanded to include breach of the peace (a similar offense recognized in most state jurisdictions). In the Products Liability topic, many points of law are classified once under the product type and again under the legal concept or procedure.
Minor improvements in many topics: You'll see many changes in topics such as Counties, Criminal Law, Indians, Infants, Negligence, and Process.
Deletion of one topic: The topic Breach of the Peace has been deleted. It is now part of the topic Disorderly Conduct.
Tentative plans for 2010 include the addition of a Water Law topic and substantial revisions in such topics as War and National Emergency, Weapons, Workers' Compensation, and Zoning and Planning.

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