Saturday, August 1, 2009
Lynda Edwards, a reporter (not Linda Edwards the legal writing professor) covering the annual meeting of the American Bar Association, wrote that panelists at one session yesterday declared that it is almost impossible to find accurate texts of some laws. Although the federal and state governments post many laws online, there is no national or international body to verify that those postings are accurate or updated with amendments.
The ABA panelists discussed a survey done in 2007 by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) that discovered that eight states and the District of Columbia refer lawyers and judges to official sources so different that versions conflict. Additionally, states that post laws online only had no consistent way of maintaining older versions of an amended law or showing errors had been corrected.
The ABA meeting continues through Tuesday in Chicago. Today Scribes holds a luncheon at which it will recognize the 25th anniversary of the Legal Writing Institute. (mew)