New Legal Forum

Based on the huge response we've received from the legal community, we're launching this new forum to act as a discussion space for lawyers, law students, and anyone else working in the field to shape Zotero's legal functionality. The most pressing current issues seem to be:

1. Item types - which item types need fixing? What kind of need is there for new legal item types? These need to be developed and rolled into the base Zotero code, since user-added item types will currently break anytime we push an update to Zotero.

2. Site translators - let's get rolling on Westlaw! We already have some LexisNexis support, but there is a huge demand for Westlaw. We do not have a Westlaw account here right now, so it's difficult for us to work on a translator.

3. CSL/citation output - Bluebook is the most requested format, so let's start thinking about how Bluebook will pull citation information from item type fields. It may even be useful to develop a Zotero utility to import Bluebook citations.

We are all looking forward to a fruitful discussion in this new forum!
  • edited November 2, 2006
    As a social scientist that often cites legal material, and the author of CSL and the RDF schema that Zotero is borrowing from, I'd really like to get the legal support right too.

    It's really critical that people understand that 1 and 3 are intimately connected. We need a clear policy for the function of types: what they do and when they get added. This process will not work if we have no such policy or framework.

    I'd like to refer people to this blog post, which discusses the business of the type model:

    Also, I'm willing to work with people on a Bluebook style. The easiest way to facilitate this is to post one or two URLs for descriptions of the style that you consider really good that I can draw from. I can then put the draft CSL style in my SVN repository for people to test.

    As I said, I do have some experience with legal citations, but INAL.
  • "The easiest way to facilitate this is to post one or two URLs for descriptions of the style that you consider really good that I can draw from."

    The likely problem here is that the basic rules for Bluebook are ~400 pages, and I believe Harvard actively keeps it offline. The best online guide I can find to it is <a href="">this one.</a> I'd be more than willing to buy and ship copies of the Bluebook to anyone seriously interested in implementing it.
  • Can we have some legal support for those outside the US? There are huge free legal databases in most non-US common law countries. See [[]] and the links to all of the other LII's around the world. Primary legal resources should be free, as they are on austlii. Can this software facilitate this?
  • It appears there is still interest in WestLaw and LexisNexus, if the devs need anything to be able to make that support possible please speak up ..
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