The recent transformation of legal information has led to more drastic consequences in law than in some other fields. As electronic resources become more prevalent and available, courts begin citing to them. The emerging digital-born information and the new network models of communication such as Law Blogs and Wikipedia have already acquired a certain status, being cited by court decisions. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court recently cited a videotape in its decision of Scott v. Harris (2007), saying "it speaks for itself," and included it in the opinion as an attachment.
Unfortunately, like many other government entities, the courts have not taken precautions to make sure that the materials they cite remain stable and available to the public for long term access. This is so, even though "no one is supposed to ignore the law." What happens when the materials one relies on disappear?
This paper examines the serious implications that could arise from this situation. It will also examine the challenges, new roles and possible course of action for law libraries and librarians in ensuring the availability of digital objects in the legal field far in the future.
"Permanent Digital Legal Information: Disappearing Urls and Preservation of Digital Objects Cited in Court Decisions,"
International Journal of Legal Information:
3, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/ijli/vol37/iss3/6