Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Law/Archive 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A small (§) victory.

Please note that for our articles on statutes, restatements, etc., the powers that be have seen fit to add the § symbol to the character box on the editing page (you can find it somewhere on the last line) so use it generously! -- BD2412 talk 00:40, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

  • In lieu of simply typing § ? Mmmbeer 01:13, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Hey, not everyone's versed in the codes - some of us copy and paste from the MS Word symbol menu! ;-) -- BD2412 talk 01:19, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Infobox help

Hi, I created a law infobox based on Roe v. Wade for a Indian court case (K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra based on the judgement text). I have some doubts. What does citation mean here? The judgement mentioned a citation, which I have copied, but it also had something called Citator Info, which I can't make out. Can someone please give an opinion on whether the infobox is done right? Thanks. --PamriTalk 15:36, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

  • It appears correct in all regards to me - the citation is simply the reference to where the case can be found in the jurisdictions records of cases, and this is correct here. Cheers!  BD2412 talk 16:00, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Link spamming

I'm not sure the value of this, but this user Alloy33 (link to contrib page) has been spamming links to Anyone wanna take up reverting them? Mmmbeer 03:33, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

New "Law" Categories

Above we have something going for templates. I just thought it might be useful to create a discussion for new/useful categories that we should make sure that we're aware of when creating new articles.

I think that sounds great. I think, in fact, it would be worth starting a page dedicated to categorization issues (such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Law/Categorization), like they have for the Medical Wikiprojects. It would be useful to map out the taxonomy of law and examine what categories might be missing. Anyone interested in getting something like that started? -- PullUpYourSocks 03:33, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan. In the meantime, I've added another:
  • Category:Case law reporters - Simply a category for whatever case reporters are added. I'm actually thinking that a link to the appropriate "reporter" in legal citation may be more helpful than to case citation. For example, linking A.2d as it is in the citation. Mmmbeer 13:35, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I notice we do not have a category for District Attorneys. Nor are they listed anywhere in the categories for occupation. This is a rather large oversight methinks...  ALKIVARRadioactive.svg 23:19, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Good call!  BD2412 talk 23:57, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
  • What about Category:District_attorneys? Isn't that exactly what we're talking about? Mmmbeer 02:00, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
    interesting ... it didnt exist when i looked... it must just be an isolated category that no other category links to. It certainly isnt in any of the occupation categories.  ALKIVARRadioactive.svg 02:56, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, the only category it belongs to is Category:Criminal law. Feel free to categorize it accordingly. It looks like it was added a couple months ago. I found it by trying simply typing in District attorneys. Mmmbeer 03:47, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I added a new category yesterday, Category:Contract clauses. I think I managed to root them all out, but if anyone knows any that I have missed, let me know (or just stick them in). Legis 11:58, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

More clean up stuff

At least I find myself thinking, "I need to remember to come back and clean up this article I stumbled across." So I created, Wikipedia:WikiProject_Law/Cleanups so that we can contribute to a single list of deficient articles. I think if we do this, rather than simply creating stubs from the "missing law articles" pages, we can get a better idea of articles that are also in need of some help.

I started this because I was looking at Forum shopping. I realized that while it has some information, it's pretty weak on any real substance. Feel free to contribute. Mmmbeer 21:14, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Do we need to add a more explicit disclaimer?

At the bottom of the page there is a "disclaimer", but man, it hardly seem like enough, especially since you have to go from Wikipedia:General disclaimer to the Wikipedia:Legal disclaimer. Would it be such a bad idea to use the following at the top of all the "discussion" pages containing legal information: {{Legal_disclaimer}}

Maybe I'm missing an important template already. mmmbeerT / C / ? 13:45, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Seems like an excellent idea, even if the "Please consult a lawyer" part might be a tad self-serving. :-) --Russ Blau (talk) 16:57, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Hmmm... how about "please consult a professional"?  BD2412 talk 17:04, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
      • Or, "please consult a lawyer or other legal professional". mmmbeerT / C / ? 17:08, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
        • Sounds reasonable. My thought was that referring to lawyers alone would not accomodate legal systems in which certain areas of law are largely carried out by non-lawyers.  BD2412 talk 17:12, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
          • Done! So would the idea be, just attach the template to the top of every Talk page of an article that could be read as conferring legal advice? mmmbeerT / C / ? 22:06, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

The biggest problem is Jimbo is 100% against any templates of this nature, in fact it actually WEAKENS their footing when it comes to lawsuits... Or so the wikimedia council says (removing common carrier status?). As IANAL you guys might want to run this past Jimbo before putting this into use.  ALKIVARRadioactive.svg 01:04, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Case law?

Hello, I've just joined the project. I have made a two articles on cases (Partridge v. Crittenden and R. v. Constanza) so far, and I don't know if they are consistent with all other ones. Is there a standard layout that they must have, or are they OK? Izehar 19:30, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Looking great to me. There is no official standard for law articles but I think you have the right idea. So long as it's readable to the lay-person you can't go too wrong. --PullUpYourSocks 03:56, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

1911 topics

Lets have a run at Wikipedia:1911 Encyclopedia topics on Law. There's only a few dozen topics left, and many are likely redirects. BD2412 T 03:20, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Church tax exemption

Not exactly and obviously law, but I don't know where else to take this. Remarkably, a recent addition at Ted_Haggard#Relationship_with_President_George_W._Bush is Wikipedia's first mention of the current controversy over the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigating All Saints Church's tax status over an anti-war speech. Does someone want to start an article on the broader matter? I don't watchlist this page, so if anyone wants me, please hit my user talk page. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:01, 24 November 2005 (UTC)


Note - I have created a modification of the {{unreferenced}} template for law articles - {{LawUnref}}, which puts articles into Category:Law-related articles lacking sources. I have substituted this for the regular unref template on some law articles in Category:Articles lacking sources. Please use this as a resource to note law-related articles that require references. Cheers! BD2412 T 15:23, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Rewrite Legal rights of women

Legal rights of women---This article seriously needs a rewrite. It's an important subject, and Wiki should have an acceptable article on it as soon as possible. Alexander 007 05:07, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Work for you copyright guru's

the article on Warez has a rather pathetic "Legality" section. The entire content is:


Copyright infringement is sometimes a civil wrong or a crime, depending on the country and jurisdiction. However, there are exceptions and loopholes in some countries.

Help put something worthwhile here. Any specific laws/cases RE: Warez/Software Piracy in particular would be extremely helpful. I'm trying to make a run at FAC again in the spring, its on PR now. Thanks!  ALKIVARRadioactive.svg 22:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I took a stab at it. It's tough to write concisely about anything law like. mmmbeerT / C / ? 00:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Articles for the Wikipedia 1.0 project

Hi, I'm a member of the Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team, which is looking to identify quality articles in Wikipedia for future publication on CD or paper. We recently began assessing using these criteria, and we are looking for A-Class and good B-Class articles, with no POV or copyright problems. Can you recommend any suitable articles on law? We are also looking for FAs. Please post your suggestions here. Cheers!--Shanel 00:50, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

You're one of the most active WikiProjects out there... you surely don't want to fall behind in the full article list when compared to other WikiProjects, do you? ;). Besides, law is one of the fundamental areas of human knowledge, so we need to cover at least some as we push to 1.0... Titoxd(?!? - help us) 06:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

District attorney

District attorney has been redirected to Prosecutor, losing its content: diff. Is this kosher?--Commander Keane 08:18, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I've reverted. It's a perfectly legitimate article as the American form of a prosecutor, which is markedly different to that in a number of other countries. Ambi 08:27, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

If there are any Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act experts out there...

I could really use the help with the legal analysis given that it's very possible the good ol' Shrub authorized the violation of the law[1] just recently. I think that I've taken it a long way[2], but it would be good to have another pair of eyes go over it.

Also, the case law relating to the topic is pretty thick. I know I'm certainly NOT an expert in this area. Given that this is a current issue, it might be a good article to get into shape, and get it there quickly. mmmbeerT / C / ? 02:36, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Consistent statute template

Check out the infoboxes used in Digital Millennium Copyright Act and USA PATRIOT Act. Why are two different templates used for two recent pieces of U.S. statutory law? Can we come up with an infobox (if none of the current templates are adequate) that can be consistently used in U.S. statutory articles? Am I simply missing something? I'm in a bit of a quandry as to which box to use in this article, and there are several others that I would like to add an infobox to. - Jersyko talk 16:35, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

It appears that the author of Digital Millennium Copyright Act used Template:Infobox U.S. legislation, while the author of USA PATRIOT Act simply designed his/her own table format. The former is rather too garish for my taste, although obviously that is a subjective viewpoint. However, in terms of maintainability, it would probably be best to link as many articles as possible to the existing template, and then play with it to make it more attractive. --Russ Blau (talk) 17:19, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I got rid of the "yikes" green and went for a color that's a bit more consistent with American legislation: a light blue gray. Plus I dropped the really ugly borders. Now watch some revert the change because they liked the green. mmmbeerT / C / ? 17:53, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Much better, and no one liked the green :). - Jersyko talk 19:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'll blame you the moment I get a message from someone saying, "Hey! Why did you change the template. It was l337 the way it was. I'm reverting!" mmmbeerT / C / ? 20:00, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

District Attorney (redux)

Rather than get into an edit war, I'd like some input from my fellow Wikipedians on this. There is an article titled Prosecutor which is a fairly comprehensive article. There were also articles at District Attorney, Commonwealth's Attorney, County Attorney, District attorney (city), and District attorney (county). Those were all redirected (mostly by me) to Prosecutor. My redirect from District Attorney only was reverted, then reverted again when I changed it back. I don't believe there should be a separate page for District Attorney apart from Prosecutor because it's completely redundant, they mean the same thing, except Prosecutor is more inclusive. If we keep District Attorney, we would need to keep ALL of the other pages that are redirected. District Attorney is simply the title given to the Prosecutor in several states. For example, I happen to be a prosecutor in New York. My title is Assistant District Attorney. If I happened to live in New Jersey, my title would be Assistant Prosecutor. If I lived in Florida, I'd be an Assistant State's Attorney. If a lived in Massachusetts, I'd be an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney. Regardless, no matter what my title would be, I'd be a prosecutor. If someone is looking for an encyclopedia article on what a District Attorney is (or a Commonwealth's Attorney, or whatever), they should be redirected to Prosecutor, rather than have multiple pages with the exact same information. Any extra info at District Attorney can be easily merged into Prosecutor, expanding on this paragraph: "In the United States the director of any such offices may be known by any of several names depending on the legal jurisdiction (e.g. County Attorney, County Prosecutor, State Attorney, State Prosecutor, Commonwealth's Attorney (in Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts), District Attorney, City Attorney, City Prosecutor or U.S. Attorney) and may be either appointed or elected." Thoughts, comments? Thanks!! Tufflaw 05:16, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I really don't know what to make of this, but I will note that Black's Law Dictionary has separate entries for "prosecutor" and "district attorney." The definitions of the two words, however, are essentially identical. This comment is relevant only to use of the terms in the United States, as far as I know. - Jersyko talk 05:22, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
    • That is the issue. A district attorney in the US is a different kettle of fish entirely from a prosecutor in the Commonwealth realms, and assumedly in other places as well. I see the problem with deciding what to name said article, but there was good US-specific content in those articles that didn't need to be lost. Ambi 07:51, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
      • Well, let's break down the article:

"A district attorney is, in some jurisdictions, the title of the local prosecutor, the American public official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminals. Because different levels of government in the U.S. operate independently of one another, there are many differences between persons who perform this function at the federal, state, and county levels. Similar functions are carried out in other jurisdictions by officers such as the Commonwealth's Attorney or County Attorney." - This can easily be merged into Prosecutor, to the extent that it's not already there.

"The proper title for a federal prosecutor is United States Attorney. Such officers are appointed by the President of the United States, serve under the Attorney General, and prosecute cases in the district courts of the federal government." - This shouldn't even be in the District Attorney article, and should instead be in Prosecutor.

"Most states also have an Attorney General who oversees prosecutions throughout the state. A district attorney of a state is often called a state's attorney. However, the district attorney of a county (often called the county attorney) usually serves as the chief prosecutor for the county, holding the highest office in the county's legal department, and supervising a staff of assistant district attorneys." This is just all wrong. Attorney General is federal, first of all, and is never called a District Attorney. Also, it's incorrect to say that "A district attorney of a state is often called a state's attorney", because they're two different titles for the same job, both under the umbrella of prosecutor.

"Depending on the system in place in the particular state or county, district attorneys may be appointed by the chief executive of the region, elected by the people, or hired directly by the supervisor of the particular office in which they work." Merge to Prosecutor.

"The equivalent position within England and many Commonwealth countries is the Director of Public Prosecutions." Merge to Prosecutor. Tufflaw 08:21, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree entirely, Tufflaw. There's no logic whatsoever to having a specific page about District Attorney, unless the article is to discuss matters such as the history of the office (as opposed to the history of public prosecutors), notable office holders, etc. If (and I for one am not convinced), a prosecutor in Commonwealth realms is an entirely different kettle of fish, this point can be put in the article.
Finally, the last sentence, on the equivalent position within England is (in England and Wales at least) incorrect. The equivalent position is Crown Prosecutor, who are people who work for, and under the direction of, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and (to quote the legislation), under the 'superintendance' of the UK Attorney-General. Merge the articles and Redirect. Necessaryx 11:42, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
I've restored County attorney as a seperate article, and added some info - I interviewed with that office for Miami-Dade County, and learned that, in addition to prosecutions, they are responsible for handling the County's civil law matters, contracts, election challenges, all kinds of non-prosecutorial stuff. BD2412 T 19:28, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
In Illinois, the State's Attorney performs essentially the same functions BD describes for Florida. To quote from the Cook County State's Attorney website: "The State's Attorney pursues these goals by enforcing the criminal laws, promoting civil protection for the disabled, the elderly, consumers and the environment, and acting as general counsel for a county government that is larger than 44 state governments." Although being a prosecutor is a full time job for most of the 500+ attorneys in that office, many others have nothing to do with criminal law. -- DS1953 talk 17:36, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Help please

If anyone out there has access to a copy of Dicey and Morris or any other reputable text on Conflict of Laws, could you please verify my definition of a state and say how many states there are in the U.K. Many thanks in anticipation that someone can provide the necessary source to verify my entry which has been disputed. David91 12:22, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Good thing I read this while at the library, and only feet away from the proper stacks no less. On p.28 of 1993 edition of Dicey it says:
"The word State has various meanings. Whatever may be its meanig in public international law or constitutional law, in this book it means the whole of a territory subject to one sovereign power." He then shows as an example that the UK is a state but England is not. "A State may or may not coincide with a country in the sense of the conflict of laws. Unitary States ... wher the law is the same throughout the State, are "countries" in this sense. But composite States like the United Kingdom...are not." There you go. Hope that helps. --PullUpYourSocks 23:26, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for checking but that only partially addresses the issue. The law as I have always understood it is that, for the purposes of Conflict, the word "state" is used to to refer to a "law area", i.e. a defined territory subject more or less to a single legal system. Thus, for example, Scotland or Arizona are not a de jure states that can sign treaties in the international arena, but they are states in the Conflict sense because if you wanted to determine a person's status, you would refer to the lex domicilii, i.e. the law of the state in which that person has the factum of permanent residence + animus semper mandendi (English law terminology). Hence, the U.K. and the U.S. are composite states in the Public International Law sense because they have the sovereign authority to enter into treaties, etc. But how many Conflict states are they composed of? In the case of the U.K (or, upon reflection, the British Isles since I tend to use the terms interchangeably for these purposes), I think the answer is five or six depending on how you count the Channel Islands (at least that is how it used to be before I got old and forgetful), i.e. England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Island, the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. Thus, you would have a British nationality and a domicile in any one of the five or six "states". But things change, I forget specifics and the answer does not seem to be easily verified on the net, hence this question. David91 01:38, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Articles in need of some serious work

Found these linked over at Articles requested for more than a year:

Others listed that need work:

as I do not know what they pertain to perhaps they merely need redirects? Thanks in advance for your help, this will get stuff requested for more than a year off the request list!.  ALKIVARRadioactive.svg 14:51, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Feedback and copyediting wanted

I'm not sure where to write this, but I hope this is the right place. I started an article on Tony Kiritsis and noone seems to have read it yet. It may need some copyediting and maybe someone with better juridical knowledge could add something about how this case was important. It helped change US laws on insanity defense (it seems like there was something briefly refered to as "The Kiritsis Law"). This was also one of the first cases that were broadcast on live TV. I have mentioned that some tv stations quit broadcasting it out of fear that Kiritsis would pull the trigger (this was 10 years before people saw Budd Dwyer's brain all over the room on live tv). Please edit whatever you like, and I'd appreciate feedback here or on my talk page or on the article's talk page. (Entheta 22:24, 7 January 2006 (UTC))

Helping Law Students

You might be interested in the Cyberlaw project where a group of Harvard Law School students are taking a class, where part of their exposure is to Wikipedia. I volunteered to help out. I am not a lawyer, but rather a computer programmer, and other related worker bee. I am somewhat of a Wiki newbie, with fluctuating time availability, getting more experienced in Wikipedia, with a background in a diversity of Cyber topics.

The students are intensively studying some topics that I think the Wiki community could also benefit from knowing better, especially in some contentious areas where the more inexperienced think consensus trumps the law, and many leaders seem to be doing a less than adequate job of communicating why fair use can be used some places and not others.

One of the class assignments was to figure out how Wikipedia could do a better job coping with a variety of contemporary issues. Seems to me the students reccommendations ought to have better exposure to the Wikipedian community for general discussion of their merits.

The next Wikimania will be held at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society where these students are located and I wonder if there is good enough cooperation between the different interests intersecting here. User:AlMac|(talk) 13:13, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Opinions sought on abortion/reproductive rights category merge proposal

I'd like some additional opinions at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 January 14 on my proposal to merge Category:United States abortion case law into Category:United States reproductive rights case law (the proposal was initially just for a rename, but I went ahead and created the latter category to house the cases I named in the proposal). BD2412 T 23:58, 19 January 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Unlawful arrest could do with some informed input. --Doc ask? 19:37, 24 January 2006 (UTC)