Judge names and legal cases

I’m looking at updating the translator for U.S. Supreme Court
judgements offered via the Cornell LII:

http://code.google.com/p/zotero-for-lawyers/wiki/CornellLII

Extracting the essentials for a cite will be easy, but for research
purposes, probably the most important metadata for an appellate case
is the distribution of opinions in the judgement: who wrote the main
judgement; who concurred; and who dissented.

The main judgement maps nicely to “author”, but from there I’m stuck.
Zotero’s “contributor” creator type would do nicely for concurrences
(although it doesn’t seem to be mapped in CSL); but something is
needed for “dissenter” as well.

As this information is not required for generating citations, I’m
wondering whether it would be acceptable to approach Zotero directly,
and request that “contributor” be complemented by another non-CSL name
type “dissenter”.

Thoughts?

Frank

Well, not sure you want to get into this ATM, b/c it seems to me a big
dark data modeling hole.

To me, dissents and such are not just simple strings on a record;
you’re really talking about linked documents. So a group votes against
a ruling, and their argument is then embodied in one or more
dissenting documents. Seems to me important to capture those
relationships if you’re going to bother with this?

Bruce

I’m looking at updating the translator for U.S. Supreme Court
judgements offered via the Cornell LII:

http://code.google.com/p/zotero-for-lawyers/wiki/CornellLII

Extracting the essentials for a cite will be easy, but for research
purposes, probably the most important metadata for an appellate case
is the distribution of opinions in the judgement: who wrote the main
judgement; who concurred; and who dissented.

The main judgement maps nicely to “author”, but from there I’m stuck.
Zotero’s “contributor” creator type would do nicely for concurrences
(although it doesn’t seem to be mapped in CSL); but something is
needed for “dissenter” as well.

As this information is not required for generating citations, I’m
wondering whether it would be acceptable to approach Zotero directly,
and request that “contributor” be complemented by another non-CSL name
type “dissenter”.

Well, not sure you want to get into this ATM, b/c it seems to me a big
dark data modeling hole.

To me, dissents and such are not just simple strings on a record;
you’re really talking about linked documents. So a group votes against
a ruling, and their argument is then embodied in one or more
dissenting documents. Seems to me important to capture those
relationships if you’re going to bother with this?

Very much agreed. i thought a little further about this, and realized
that “concurring in part and dissenting in part” would be a wee bit of
a problem. No way that the position of the judges in a case can be
encoded in the names metadata.

For the present, at least, this belongs in the the text of the
judgement, where the user can find it, and in the user’s notes on the
case. metadata != Cliff Notes. :slight_smile:

Frank