Monday, 7 December 2009
Article: Wikipedia in Court
An interesting paper posted on SSRN is titled Wikipedia in Court: When and How Citing Wikipedia and Other Consensus Websites is Appropriate. The paper discusses how and when Wikipedia should be used in court and some of the controversies attached to it. According to the abstract, "Practitioners and courts are relying more and more on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Hundreds of court opinions, including at least one from every federal circuit court, and thousands of law review articles cite Wikipedia. Some opinions have relied on Wikipedia for technical information, although others only turned to the consensus website for background information on minor points." The authors lays out a process for determining when it is and when it is not appropriate to cite Wikipedia and other similar online sources. The authors are Jason C. Miller, law clerk to the Honorable Deborah L. Cook, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Hannah B. Murray, Editor-in-chief, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology of Law Review.