Monday, June 15, 2009

Westlaw's Keycite makes a mistake - and it's a big one

Here's a very valuable reminder to students and practitioners alike - that Westlaw's keycite notions, like judgments about what Digest Topics to assign the cases- are made by people who, ultimately, are fallible.  To wit - Westlaw's Keycite is erroneously showing a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court - Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 - is still good law even though Justice Scalia explicitly overruled the decision on May 26, 2009 in Montejo v. Louisiana.

Thanks to our good buddy Joe Hodnicki at the Law Librarian Blog for bringing this major boner to our attention (and special thanks to law librarian extraordinaire David Walker at Charleston School of Law for discovering the mistake in the first place).  According to David, Lexis' Shepards service got it right.  Allow me to let David explain the rest in his own words:

on May 26, 2009, my colleague, William Gaskill, planned to use Michigan v. Jacksonas a Shepard’s/Keycite example in his Legal Research Bootcamp course.  He sent his class an email asking them to determine whether Michigan v. Jacksonwas still good law by class that evening.  I opined that students’ answers would be different depending on the time of the day they verified the case.  I was wrong.  The next morning, William had informed me that according to Keycite, Michigan v. Jackson is still good law.

We’ve been keeping track of the case over the past two weeks and as of today at 3:30 p.m. EST, according to Westlaw, Michigan v. Jackson is still good law.  West did enter Montejointo its system, but someone must have read over Nino’s quote or maybe they just figured the majority was wrong.  In any event, I hope for sake of criminal lawyers everywhere that this will be remedied soon.
By the way [Lexis'] Shepard's [account required] picked up the change in Michigan’s status.

When you get a chance, please pay the Law Librarian Blog a visit, ok?

I am the scholarship dude.


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Thanks for the hat tip Jim but David C. Walker, Reference Librarian, Charleston School of Law spotted this Keysite boner and is the author of the Law Librarian Blog post, not me.

Thanks, Joe! I will make the correction forthwith!


Posted by: Joe Hodnicki | Jun 15, 2009 4:08:22 AM

Is this error still accurate or did they FINALLY correct it?

Posted by: Eric | Jul 9, 2009 5:44:12 PM

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