Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Post for Marcia Oddi: Legal briefs of Massachusetts' SJC cases available on court Web site

Sorry to the non-lawyers for this sort of inside baseball kind of post. Marcia Oddi of The Indiana Law Blog has suggested for some time that the Briefs filed in Indiana appeals be available online. I agree with her. Now I find Massachusetts doing exactly this. See Legal briefs of SJC cases available on court Web site.

"As part of a continuing effort to make the court system more easily accessible to the public, the Supreme Judicial Court is now providing legal briefs filed with the full Court available on the Internet at www.ma-appellatecourts.org or at www.mass.gov/sjc."
I would like to think that what Massachusetts can do, Indiana can do also. Is this such an impossibility with electronic filing in the near future?

For the curious layperson asking why this is of any importance: I think by seeing the arguments made we will be in a better position to evaluate the opinions (the end product of those arguments) issuing from our appellate courts.

This topic and reading Carl Malamud Takes on WestLaw, got me thinking about why the State of Indiana does not fund a transfer of the Indiana Reports to a digital format. For those thinking that West has pretty much done this, go read the article I just cited. For the general public, you would be amazed how much of Indiana's case law remains untouched since the nineteenth century.