Internet Materials In Opinions: Citations and Hyperlinking

In the July 2009 Newsletter of the Federal Courts, titled The Third Branch, is an interesting article titled Internet Materials In Opinions: Citations and Hyperlinking mentioning some “suggested practices” to assist courts on how to deal with citations to Internet materials.

The Judicial Conference has issued a series of suggested practices to assist courts in the use of Internet materials in opinions. The recommendations follow a pilot project conducted by circuit librarians who captured and preserved webpages cited in opinions over a six-month period.

The guidelines suggest that, if a webpage is cited, chambers staff preserve the citation by downloading a copy of the sites page and filing it as an attachment to the judicial opinion in the Judiciarys Case Management/Electronic Case Files System. The attachment, like the opinion, would be retrievable on a non-fee basis through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system. When considering whether to cite Internet sources, judges are reminded that some litigants, particularly pro se litigants, may not have access to a computer.

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