Cite To The Internet or Not?!

Via, in a post titled Link Rot In Court Decision the bellow mentioned article is featured. With the growth of the Internet and the use of information available on the Internet, the citation to the Internet has also increased. That is true for the legal world and legal citation as well. The question of citing or not citing to the Internet in legal documents is being heavily debated. There is an article available through SSRN that discusses link rot in court decisions by Tina Ching (Reference Librarian, Seattle Univ. Law Library) in The Next Generation of Legal Citations: A Survey of Internet Citations in the Opinions of the Washington Supreme Court and Washington Appellate Courts, 1999-2005 , 9 J. App. Prac. & Process 387 (2007), available at SSRN.

The article abstract reads as follows:

As more legal research is conducted online, it is reasonable to conclude that there will be a corresponding increase in citations to the Internet by judges in their opinions. With the widespread public use of the Internet to access information along with the constant changes and impermanence of websites, citing to the Internet should be an issue of increasing concern to the legal community across the country. This paper surveys the types of Internet sources the Washington state Supreme Court and Appellate Court justices are citing. It discusses the interrelated issues of link rot and the impermanence of web pages, citation format, authentication and preservation of online electronic legal information.

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