citing lower-federal, state, and local court decisions

Hi Bruce, Frank and others who may be working on legal styles,

I’m trying to format Chicago Manual of Style citations for lower court
decisions, but I don’t seem to find any mappings for the court name,
either in Zotero nor in CSL. For example, in

United States v. Dennis, 183 F. 201 (2d Cir. 1950).

“2d Cir.” goes in the “court” field in the “case” item type. But court
is not mapped to anything. Or am I missing something?

If it should be mapped to something, what variable should it be in CSL?

Thanks,
Elena

Probably not. FWIW, here’s how I model it in bibo rdf:

http://wiki.bibliontology.com/index.php/Examples#Legal_Case

I’ll take a look at this soon. In the meantime, Frank or Andrea, you
might take a look, given your legal backgrounds. I’m a dilettante in
this area.

Bruce

Hi Bruce, Frank and others who may be working on legal styles,

I’m trying to format Chicago Manual of Style citations for lower court
decisions, but I don’t seem to find any mappings for the court name,
either in Zotero nor in CSL. For example, in

United States v. Dennis, 183 F. 201 (2d Cir. 1950).

“2d Cir.” goes in the “court” field in the “case” item type. But court
is not mapped to anything. Or am I missing something?

The field mappings are an area that I confess I don’t yet fully
understand. In the first cut of work on the Bluebook style, I did a
lot of reckless hackery to get things running, which worked as far as
working went, but needs to be tidied up.

For the court field (which as far as I know should serve the purpose
you want to use it for), the field exists in Zotero’s system.sql setup
file, but if I recall correctly, it was not in the list of accessible
fields, in csl.js. I just added it to the list in that file, which is
not generally useful, because it means my style is not valid CSL
(because it’s not in the spec), and it only works with a patched
Zotero. It seems as if adding court to CSL would be a good thing.
Zotero might be withholdinig access to the field because it isn’t in
the CSL schema.

While we’re on the topic of database fields … here’s another
question. Law cases are often cited by docket number. I see that
there is a “document-number” variable in CSL, which seems right for
this, but Zotero does not have a mapping for this field in the
legal_case type. Would this then be something that can be addressed
in Zotero without further reference to CSL? This one has been on my
mind lately, because I would like to start cleaning up the database
schema in our local version of Zotero (our variances are preventing
sync from working, which is a – self-inflicted – pain). If I can
identify which communities are affected by which of our tweaks, I can
start tidying up without creating unnecessary commotion.

Frank

Hi Bruce, Frank and others who may be working on legal styles,

I’m trying to format Chicago Manual of Style citations for lower
court
decisions, but I don’t seem to find any mappings for the court name,
either in Zotero nor in CSL. For example, in

United States v. Dennis, 183 F. 201 (2d Cir. 1950).

“2d Cir.” goes in the “court” field in the “case” item type. But
court
is not mapped to anything. Or am I missing something?

The field mappings are an area that I confess I don’t yet fully
understand. In the first cut of work on the Bluebook style, I did a
lot of reckless hackery to get things running, which worked as far as
working went, but needs to be tidied up.

For the court field (which as far as I know should serve the purpose
you want to use it for), the field exists in Zotero’s system.sql setup
file, but if I recall correctly, it was not in the list of accessible
fields, in csl.js. I just added it to the list in that file, which is
not generally useful, because it means my style is not valid CSL
(because it’s not in the spec), and it only works with a patched
Zotero. It seems as if adding court to CSL would be a good thing.
Zotero might be withholdinig access to the field because it isn’t in
the CSL schema.

Ok, how about adding this to CSL spec:

   ## the abbreviated name of the court for legal cases/court  

decisions
“court”
>

Then I will map it in csl.js for the next release.

While we’re on the topic of database fields … here’s another
question. Law cases are often cited by docket number. I see that
there is a “document-number” variable in CSL, which seems right for
this, but Zotero does not have a mapping for this field in the
legal_case type. Would this then be something that can be addressed
in Zotero without further reference to CSL?

Yes: How about we add docketNumber to case item type, then map
docketNumber to number in Zotero?

(Z number is already mapped to CSL number; I couldn’t find document-
number variable in CSL but found this:

   ## a document number; useful for reports and such
   "number"

so what I propose above seems logical)

If you agree, I’ll create a ticket for Dan S. Mostly schema changes
are scheduled for later, when hierarchical item types are implemented,
but Dan did say at one point that it may be possible to make some
schema changes right away:

Elena

Hi Bruce, Frank and others who may be working on legal styles,

I’m trying to format Chicago Manual of Style citations for lower
court
decisions, but I don’t seem to find any mappings for the court name,
either in Zotero nor in CSL. For example, in

United States v. Dennis, 183 F. 201 (2d Cir. 1950).

“2d Cir.” goes in the “court” field in the “case” item type. But
court
is not mapped to anything. Or am I missing something?

The field mappings are an area that I confess I don’t yet fully
understand. In the first cut of work on the Bluebook style, I did a
lot of reckless hackery to get things running, which worked as far as
working went, but needs to be tidied up.

For the court field (which as far as I know should serve the purpose
you want to use it for), the field exists in Zotero’s system.sql setup
file, but if I recall correctly, it was not in the list of accessible
fields, in csl.js. I just added it to the list in that file, which is
not generally useful, because it means my style is not valid CSL
(because it’s not in the spec), and it only works with a patched
Zotero. It seems as if adding court to CSL would be a good thing.
Zotero might be withholdinig access to the field because it isn’t in
the CSL schema.

Ok, how about adding this to CSL spec:

  ## the abbreviated name of the court for legal cases/court

decisions
"court"
>

Then I will map it in csl.js for the next release.

Sounds good to me. Music to my ears, in fact.

While we’re on the topic of database fields … here’s another
question. Law cases are often cited by docket number. I see that
there is a “document-number” variable in CSL, which seems right for
this, but Zotero does not have a mapping for this field in the
legal_case type. Would this then be something that can be addressed
in Zotero without further reference to CSL?

Yes: How about we add docketNumber to case item type, then map
docketNumber to number in Zotero?

(Z number is already mapped to CSL number; I couldn’t find document-
number variable in CSL but found this:

  ## a document number; useful for reports and such
  "number"

so what I propose above seems logical)

Sorry, I should have double-checked the variable name, but that’s the one.

If you agree, I’ll create a ticket for Dan S. Mostly schema changes
are scheduled for later, when hierarchical item types are implemented,
but Dan did say at one point that it may be possible to make some
schema changes right away:

http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/5439/question-local-extensions-to-schema/#Item_10

Both changes would be welcome at this end.

Ok, how about adding this to CSL spec:

  ## the abbreviated name of the court for legal cases/court

decisions
"court"
>

Then I will map it in csl.js for the next release.

I think that’ll be fine, but can you just wait, say, 48 hours. I want
to think about it, but haven’t found time.

While we’re on the topic of database fields … here’s another
question. Law cases are often cited by docket number. I see that
there is a “document-number” variable in CSL, which seems right for
this, but Zotero does not have a mapping for this field in the
legal_case type. Would this then be something that can be addressed
in Zotero without further reference to CSL?

Yes: How about we add docketNumber to case item type, then map
docketNumber to number in Zotero?

(Z number is already mapped to CSL number; I couldn’t find document-
number variable in CSL but found this:

  ## a document number; useful for reports and such
  "number"

so what I propose above seems logical)

Yeah, “number” is a synonym for “document number,” which a docket number is.

Bruce

Ok, how about adding this to CSL spec:

 ## the abbreviated name of the court for legal cases/court

decisions
"court"

Then I will map it in csl.js for the next release.

I think that’ll be fine, but can you just wait, say, 48 hours. I want
to think about it, but haven’t found time.

ok

While we’re on the topic of database fields … here’s another
question. Law cases are often cited by docket number. I see that
there is a “document-number” variable in CSL, which seems right for
this, but Zotero does not have a mapping for this field in the
legal_case type. Would this then be something that can be addressed
in Zotero without further reference to CSL?

Yes: How about we add docketNumber to case item type, then map
docketNumber to number in Zotero?

(Z number is already mapped to CSL number; I couldn’t find document-
number variable in CSL but found this:

 ## a document number; useful for reports and such
 "number"

so what I propose above seems logical)

Yeah, “number” is a synonym for “document number,” which a docket
number is.

Dan S. added this:
https://www.zotero.org/trac/changeset/4240

Elena

OK, I’ve not had time to look into this yet, but the issue that is
giving me pause on adding “court” to CSL is this…

I’m worried that this issue may touch on other related issues, and so
"court" may be too specific.

I’m not sure, but it seems to me this may have relation to broader
notions about authority or jurisdiction common across a range of
typically legal types. For example, patents: if I have a patent
registered in the U.S., is “U.S.” the same from a citation standpoint
as a court is for a legal case (decision)? Or laws; the jurisdiction
to which one applies?

So if I’m right (and as I said, I don’t know), then I’d want a more
generic variable to cover all of these.

Frank, any insights?

Bruce

I’m worried that this issue may touch on other related issues, and so
“court” may be too specific.

I’m not sure, but it seems to me this may have relation to broader
notions about authority or jurisdiction common across a range of
typically legal types. For example, patents: if I have a patent
registered in the U.S., is “U.S.” the same from a citation standpoint
as a court is for a legal case (decision)? Or laws; the jurisdiction
to which one applies?

The related patent issues are explained in this forum thread:

which led to this ticket:

https://www.zotero.org/trac/ticket/1375

According to the forum poster, “U.S.” denotes issuing country, but
some styles also need to cite a more specific “issuing authority,”
that may or may not be “COUNTRY_NAME Patent and Trademark Office,” as
in:

Forrester, J. W. (1956). U.S. Patent No. 2736880. Washington, D.C:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

So my plan was to add an issuingAuthority field.

So are you then suggesting to add something like an “authority”
variable (Frank may come up with better name), to which both “court”
and “issuingAuthority” would be mapped?

By the way, the patent formatting also requires a new cs-date-token,
“filing” that is needed for the filing date in Chicago citations.
Could we add that also?

Thank you,
Elena

So my plan was to add an issuingAuthority field.

So are you then suggesting to add something like an "authority"
variable (Frank may come up with better name), to which both "court"
and “issuingAuthority” would be mapped?

Yes. But I’m curious what the legal people here think.

In any case, better to start with the generic and add specificity
later if needed.

By the way, the patent formatting also requires a new cs-date-token,
“filing” that is needed for the filing date in Chicago citations.
Could we add that also?

Another wrinkle: court cases also have similar distinctions between
submission/filing/hearing dates, and decision issuance dates. I’d
just say that, as with the above, we want to make sure that we also
cover these as well.

Bruce

So my plan was to add an issuingAuthority field.

So are you then suggesting to add something like an "authority"
variable (Frank may come up with better name), to which both "court"
and “issuingAuthority” would be mapped?

I’m not an IP lawyer, so my knowledge patent citation forms and the
like is thin at best. I spent some time this morning checking for
instances where both an administrative authority (like a patent
office) and a deciding authority (like a court or arbitration
tribunal) might be needed in a single cite, and I haven’t been able to
find one or to dream one up. I was thinking that, if the same var
could be used for both, “authority” would be its name, so “authority
-> issuingAuthority” and “authority -> court” works as far as I can
see.

It feels a little odd to use the same var for institutions with very
different roles, but in practice there is quite a muddy continuum
between executive organs and dispute resolution bodies.

A propos of nothing, one of my recent adventures in academic research
kicked off with an Osaka tribunal sitting in 1645 that sentenced two
merchants to death in one breath, and instituted new rules for doing
business (legislation, effectively) in the next. Doesn’t fit in
modern conceptual boxes very easily, but it’s safe to say that the
common feature of that tribunal, a U.S. military court, the European
Parliament and the Superior Court in Oroville, California is that (for
better or for worse) they are all “authorities”.

Frank

So my plan was to add an issuingAuthority field.

So are you then suggesting to add something like an "authority"
variable (Frank may come up with better name), to which both "court"
and “issuingAuthority” would be mapped?

I’m not an IP lawyer, so my knowledge patent citation forms and the
like is thin at best. I spent some time this morning checking for
instances where both an administrative authority (like a patent
office) and a deciding authority (like a court or arbitration
tribunal) might be needed in a single cite, and I haven’t been able to
find one or to dream one up. I was thinking that, if the same var
could be used for both, “authority” would be its name, so “authority
-> issuingAuthority” and “authority -> court” works as far as I can
see.

It feels a little odd to use the same var for institutions with very
different roles, but in practice there is quite a muddy continuum
between executive organs and dispute resolution bodies.

A propos of nothing, one of my recent adventures in academic research
kicked off with an Osaka tribunal sitting in 1645 that sentenced two
merchants to death in one breath, and instituted new rules for doing
business (legislation, effectively) in the next. Doesn’t fit in
modern conceptual boxes very easily, but it’s safe to say that the
common feature of that tribunal, a U.S. military court, the European
Parliament and the Superior Court in Oroville, California is that (for
better or for worse) they are all “authorities”.

Bruce, Andrea–

What do you think? It would be great to come to a decision on this.
Thanks,
Elena

I say we add “authority” for now, and leave open the option of later
adding “court” if we feel we need it.

Bruce

I agree.

Andrea

ps: I’m working on some haskell/xml specific issues now, and some bugs
I recently discovered in my implementation, then I’m going update the
implementation to the latest CSL additions (we need a 1.0 version!),
so I have no time left, but I think that adding C bindings to the
haskell implementation should be relatively (read really) easy… a
guy, Anton Tayanovskyy, came up, in a couple of days, with C bindings
to pandoc, and then C# and PLT Scheme bindings to the C bindings. And
more is to come, if I get it right. Which also means that, at the
present time, CSL, through pandoc, could (can?) be used in C, C# and
PLT, …

ps: I’m working on some haskell/xml specific issues now, and some bugs
I recently discovered in my implementation, then I’m going update the
implementation to the latest CSL additions (we need a 1.0 version!),

I’ve been wanting to discuss figuring out how to get there for a long
time, but it requires everyone to have time to commit to implementing
particular changes.

FWIW, I think we’re pretty close, but that we need to address the
issues with names and dates we recently discussed, as well as a few
other issues.

http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=117435&atid=678021

so I have no time left, but I think that adding C bindings to the
haskell implementation should be relatively (read really) easy… a
guy, Anton Tayanovskyy, came up, in a couple of days, with C bindings
to pandoc, and then C# and PLT Scheme bindings to the C bindings. And
more is to come, if I get it right. Which also means that, at the
present time, CSL, through pandoc, could (can?) be used in C, C# and
PLT, …

Cool!

I wonder if something like this could be hooked up to word-processors?

Been thinking again that we really need generic APIs at the editor
level, and to allow plug-in processors.

Bruce

ps: I’m working on some haskell/xml specific issues now, and some bugs
I recently discovered in my implementation, then I’m going update the
implementation to the latest CSL additions (we need a 1.0 version!),

I’ve been wanting to discuss figuring out how to get there for a long
time, but it requires everyone to have time to commit to implementing
particular changes.

FWIW, I think we’re pretty close, but that we need to address the
issues with names and dates we recently discussed, as well as a few
other issues.

http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=117435&atid=678021

I think we should set some deadline. a reasonable one seems to me the
late summer, early autumn. We could start to think about a roadmap
(maybe you could just propose one).

Been thinking again that we really need generic APIs at the editor
level, and to allow plug-in processors.

Yes, and we need a common API at the citation processing level too,
maybe, as I think you were suggesting a thread below. But I think this
is premature. Fist we need to have a CSL-1.0, which would be the
target for every implementation. Then we can really start setting some
higher level rules for the implementations.

Just my 2 cents.

Andrea

I think we should set some deadline. a reasonable one seems to me the
late summer, early autumn. We could start to think about a roadmap
(maybe you could just propose one).

What would we like in this roadmap, beyond tagging a 1.0 release of the schema?

Been thinking again that we really need generic APIs at the editor
level, and to allow plug-in processors.

Yes, and we need a common API at the citation processing level too,
maybe, as I think you were suggesting a thread below. But I think this
is premature. Fist we need to have a CSL-1.0, which would be the
target for every implementation. Then we can really start setting some
higher level rules for the implementations.

I think some of this can happen in parallel though.

Bruce

I think we should set some deadline. a reasonable one seems to me the
late summer, early autumn. We could start to think about a roadmap
(maybe you could just propose one).

What would we like in this roadmap, beyond tagging a 1.0 release of the schema?

I believe that a date for the tagging would help.

Yes, and we need a common API at the citation processing level too,
maybe, as I think you were suggesting a thread below. But I think this
is premature. Fist we need to have a CSL-1.0, which would be the
target for every implementation. Then we can really start setting some
higher level rules for the implementations.

I think some of this can happen in parallel though.

Sure, but I have the feeling that the implementations, while generally
usable, are still somehow immature for providing that word-processor
level API you were talking about. Or maybe it is just me… take the
recently added first-reference-note-number variable: that made me
rethink about my highest level function’s type signature, which, when
translated, means breaking, once again, almost everything. I still
have to implement it and, thanks to this surprise I’m going to take a
safer approach for the future… still I’m facing a major refactoring
of significant portion of my code.

Andrea

add to that the fact that we just started discussing, on the pandoc
ML, on local modification, à la natbib… and we said we would need a
common standard for that too.

Andrea

I think we should set some deadline. a reasonable one seems to me the
late summer, early autumn. We could start to think about a roadmap
(maybe you could just propose one).

What would we like in this roadmap, beyond tagging a 1.0 release of the schema?

Maybe not for 1.0, but for the do-list: multi-lingual layering, with
sort keys for Chinese and Japanese (with options for roman or local
phonetic ordering). I wish it weren’t so, but we won’t be able to
deploy CSL to our university web until that’s available.

Frank