Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Law/Archive 3

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I was reading wikipedia's policy on notability and noticed that there are sets of articles for deterimining notability in specific areas, such as Wikipedia:Notability (music). Anyone interested in perhaps starting Wikipedia:Notability (law)? I think this would be most relevant for issues regarding case summaries. For example, are all Supreme Court decisions automatically notable? How obscure can the cases be? What about the trivial cases that seem to have a life only in law school (e.g. Hawkins v. McGee and countless others)? I'm sure this will become an issue one of these days as the law materials grow. -PullUpYourSocks 05:45, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

  • My hunch is that since WP isn't paper, cases worth writing a summary about are probably notable-even if it is only important to a law student or someone having watched the Paper Chase. SCOTUS cases are also probably per se notable, and I don't think that we should discourage people from creating case brief (stubs). Anyway, I think you're right, we should probably have some policy, but I don't know if it'll be invokable as often as Wikipedia:Notability (music). mmmbeerT / C / ? 12:22, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Having thought it over a bit more, maybe a whole article on policy might not be necessary. I'm not certain one way or the other, actually. However, in any event, some guidelines on the notability of briefs would be useful. -PullUpYourSocks 13:38, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
As a matter of convenience more than anything else, I have grouped brief case summaries under a topic heading rather than create stubs (see, for example Public order crime case law in the United States or Recklessness (criminal). Alternatively, I have created discussion pages such as Automatism (case law). I am not sure that it is user friendly to have free-standing pages for each case. Unless editors are aware of the resource, the information may not be linked into topic articles and the reader experience is to be constantly referred to other pages for short summaries rather than having the material in-line with commentary when relevant. However, rather than make policy on the hoof, some form of informal guidance would be useful. David91 01:44, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I've thought about this a bit - I think any case that has appeared in casebooks by two different publishers is notable. I don't think all SCOTUS cases are notable, but every one that turns up in a casebook probably is. BD2412 T 02:34, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Hmm -- I think an argument could be made than any SCOTUS case that has not been overturned is notable in that it is currently the law of the land. And of course many overturned cases are notable for their historic value (ie: Plessy v. Ferguson). Tufflaw 20:25, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Tufflaw. And, as he says, many overturned cases are notable for historic value (there are so many....Lochner, Bowers v. Hardwick etc.)jgwlaw 02:10, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Case infobox

Does an infobox exist for articles about non-U.S. Supreme Court cases (i.e., federal circuit cases, state appellate court cases)? - Jersyko talk 01:08, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I used an infobox I found on Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad for a New York State Court of Appeals article I created at People v. Goetz. Tufflaw 20:27, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Here's the source of the infoboxes, with a collection of seals: User:Postdlf/court_case_infobox Tufflaw 19:10, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

A storm in a Wiki cup

I stumbled across a catastrophic page on victimless crime. When I tested the waters, I discovered it policed by two Libertarians who would tolerate no view but their own, so I went round them by writing a separate set of pages on criminology and law, and then moved their page to victimless crime (political philosophy) where their version of the law could be dignified as political argument. This has not been well received. You may all be amused by the talk page Talk:Victimless crime (political philosophy) David91 11:01, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Everyday, I find pages that fail to state principles well or accurately. My reactions to particular stimuli vary from amusement to horror, but the response to each stimulus is always to correct it. I suppose that this is either a generational or cultural response. I am old and relatively intolerant of error. And, as the world has discovered through Simon Cowell on American Idol, we English are not deferential. If something is wrong, we say so in plain language. So what is the consequence of passivity in Wiki. By not addressing error when you find it, you are allowing that error to remain on a public site where it may mislead or confuse lay readers. As individuals who have identified yourselves with a particular interest in the law, I wonder why you are not more proactive to defend the accuracy of Wiki when statements of "law" are made. No-one has intervened at victimless crime. Did you have no curiosity to look at the page? Did you not find many inaccurate statements of law? Well, for whatever reason, the individual members of law group seem content for the page to remain as it is so why should I care on that score. But ask yourselves whether this is indicative of a more general "don't know, don't care" attitude which, if allowed to continue, would undermine the credibility of the Wiki. David91 03:54, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I have been busy correcting misstatements of law in other articles. There are many. Far too many, and often written by non-lawyers in a political context. jgwlaw 02:12, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
David91; at first i was perturbed at your indictment of my fellow libertarians, but then i was cheered by your "intolerant of error" exacting standards, & i do know many libertarians who are abysmally sloppy. I would enjoy attempting to interface between these two realms. Perhaps you can point me to the more festering controversies? And please; do not reference valuable older men as "bottom feeders". Under our ancient anglo/american common-law, those elderly men were highly esteemed for very good reason. They had seen all the schenanigans & tricks that could be played; & they were the only ones smart enough to watch out for them. Charles8854 ??? 10 October 2006 (UTC)


I discovered that, although German Wikipedia has a reasonable article on Berufsverbot, English Wikipedia had none. I know little about it (which is why I looked it up) and I understand little German. Anyone with a basic knowledge of German law or good high school German would be welcome to help with this. I find little online in English, though there seems to be plenty in German. --Tony Sidaway 16:26, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

It is all standard stuff. For individuals, it includes professional malpractice justifiying suspension of licence, directors disqualification, and, in the event that a crime has been committed, laws preventing the criminal from holding certain types of employment depending on the nature of the crime, e.g. sex offences and teaching, etc. At a broader social level, it involves any form of policy restriction on a group engaging in an occupation, e.g. children may not be employed in certain types of industries or working environments, etc. Neither UK nor U.S. has a general term to cover all instances but we parallel almost all the German situations under separate legal classifications. The only tricky element is the history in that there were political applications but, for the most part, these no longer apply. I do not think it would be particularly useful to produce an English version given that we do not treat this as a composite topic. David91 16:57, 20 February 2006 (UTC)


First of all, well done on this very good initiative, and you do excellent work. Secondly, me being a bit of a nosey guy has found a new law wiki, called WikiLaw, still in the first few days of its life. I just happen to be a member, and have been tasked with advertising the new site. Im sure its all a coincidence though! Anyway, the site can be accessed here, and I and all the other members would appreciate any help that you might be able to give. It is based around the central themes of law and law enforcement, generally in the UK, so may interest all of those who wish for English, Scottish and Welsh law to have a greater share of internet law resources. Best of wishes with the WikiProject, Daniel -- 18:51, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

An anon user with no contributions but who is a nosey guy who believes that there is something called Welsh law, wants this group's help because "you do excellent work". This should be interwsting to watch. David91 02:46, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Notable effort?

I am fascinated by the efforts of to produce a ranking system for U.S. judges and lawyers. Do we want to start a sweepstake to see if we can spot who will come bottom of the new league table? David91 16:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Policy issue

I am slowly updating "my" pages with the most recent case authorities. In necessity, for example, there is a mass of interesting criminal and civil law emerging on medical necessity. I debated long and hard about how much to include in the criminal necessity page (ending up forking the English law out because the "generic" page was getting too big). But this raises a major policy issue. I assume that all you specialists from different jurisdictions are also adding new material all the time to keep the information here accurate. So when a given page grows too big, what is our policy? Incidentally, I think I may have to create a separate page for medical necessity but that is a separate editorial matter. David91 05:56, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Freedom of movement

I'd like to throw together a collaboration for the improvement of Freedom of movement, a very important topic that is currently treated in a very cursory and stubby way. This topic should instead be reaching featured article status. Cheers! BD2412 T 18:33, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree that freedom of movement as it stands is a faint shadow of what it should be, but the corollary is that you are biting off a major topic of immense breadth. I am currently struggling to bring my pages up-to-date with the latest developments before pressing on with my list of things to do (which still includes monism et al as promised). I will keep a distant eye on this and hope that the new blood signing up to the project will step up to the plate and hit this one out of the park. But, if all else fails, I will help out. David91 18:52, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

First Amendment article

American WP:LAW participants—I'd love to get your thoughts on this matter: Talk:First Amendment to the United States Constitution#"The Meaning of the First Amendment" section. Thanks. - Jersyko·talk 21:02, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Common law

I noticed the removal of:

I ask the membership here, which I assume to be largely from common law jurisdictions, whether the law of evidence is predominantly common law in their jurisdictions. Although the law of corporations has tended to be codified, what is the situation as to other business entities? Is the balance of the law under this heading now shifting away from its common law roots? David91 18:02, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

In the United States, the Federal Rules of Evidence have been codified since 1975 or so; the common law controlled before 1975. I'm not certain about the law relating to business organizations or corporations per se, but I think the adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code by essentially every American state is indicative of the trend in that area, as well. - Jersyko·talk 18:25, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
The law of partnerships and corporations is largely statutory. See, e.g., the Model Business Corporations Act, Uniform Limited Partnership Act, Uniform Limited Liability Partnership Act, Revised Uniform Partnership Act. Civil procedure, of course, is even more extensively codified (FRCP, FRAP, etc.). The judicially-created parts of civil procedure (abstention, Erie, etc.) have roots so far from Blackstone and company that they're hardly common-law in the same sense that torts, contracts, and property are. Amcfreely 21:42, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Federal civ pro (which seems to be all law schools care for anymore) is largely statutory, but many states still have common law elements. Somewhat the same with evidence, with the caveat that common law privileges still apply in federal courts. Of course, the trend towards making everything statutory generally means codifying the common law anyway (and then tweaking it in the legislature instead of the courts). The law of business orgs is now very far removed from the common law (which only ever recognized general partnerships and corporations anyway). BD2412 T 23:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Many thank for your views. So is the consensus that neither of these are common law? And while we are on this topic: "Property law, including Real property, Wills and Trusts". In English law, property law was codified under the Law of Property Act 1925, wills has been almost entirely statutory from the mid-Victorian era and trusts has always been equitable, so should we also remove this from "common law"? David91 03:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Property law hasn't really been codified in the England and Wales. Most of our property law is still common law, but a great deal of statutory modification has taken place (eg in the LPA), but e.g. the LPA does not define terms such as freehold. Francis Davey 18:39, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I wouldn't say that evidence should be removed from the common law - it may be more codified than, say, torts, but is still informed by common law. With respect to property law, in the U.S. that's still very much a common law area. BD2412 T 03:17, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree. There are at least *some* jurisdictions where evidence, property, and T&E are still mostly governed by the common law. There are basically no jurisdictions where the law of corporations is still common law.Amcfreely 06:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Do we have a consensus that we should remove civil procedure, partnerships, and corporations, but keep evidence? Amcfreely 14:24, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Partnerships, and corporations, should be probably be removed. Since the "merger of law & equity" it is difficult if not impossible to say that civil-procedure should be removed, & i would suggest that it be categorized similarly as evidence.
Because of the profound impact which current but unfashionable research has shown that common-law has on our American constitutional-law, we really have some larger-picture problems here that we need to back-up and look at with a fresh view. Very few scholars on the subject of common-law can articulate a coherent picture of what it is, and how it fits into our American system of constitutional courts and government. I suggest that those who consider themselves knowledgeable in this area, identify themselves clearly here-in; and then begin submitting rough-drafts of outlines of working documents to potentially and hopefully develop good-faith consensus around. Charles8854 13:34, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Court case infobox

Has anyone here seen {{Infobox Court Case}}? I discovered it when it was recently added to Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd., but it seems that almost every article using it is Australian. Is User:Postdlf/court case infobox the standard U.S. court case infobox for this Wikiproject? If so, it would be helpful if it could be converted to a template. Pagrashtak 05:37, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

There is a specific template {{SCOTUSCase}} that is used for U.S. Supreme Court cases, but I don't know about the others... --Tim4christ17 19:44, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


I just designed and added a Userbox template for this project. I hope it helps us show our work and rally others to help us. Mhs5392 21:04, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Merge of Trust (law) USA and Trust (law) non-USA

Hi there, I have proposed a merge of Trust (law) USA and Trust (law) non-USA, for reasons listed on the talk page. So far it has recieved little response, but what response there was generally was in agreement with the merge. Could any members of this Wikiproject take a moment to contribute to the debate, and if (as I imagine it will) the proposal is accepted, help out with the merge? Both pages will likely need rewrites in places, and some sections may need to be condensed/removed. Your help is appreciated. Nuge talk 16:02, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

What about a general "Trust Law" page that links to Trust law (USA), Trust law (Germany), Trust law (XYZ), etc.? Or, perhaps, "Trust Law" (generally), "Trust Law" (common law countries, with differences in USA, England, Australia, etc.), "Trust Law" (civil law countries, differences in France, Germany, etc.), etc? Would this be better? (I posed this on the Trust (law) non-USA talk page) Chart123

Citing law

I've wondered how laws are organized, what each part of a legal document is called, and so on. Sometimes I need to cite something I've found in a law but I don't know what to call the parts -- for instance, paragraph 1a or section 1, subsection a, etc. A page explaining this and if it's different across documents, and so on, would be helpful, I think. : ) cookiecaper (talk / contribs) 20:50, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Law stubs

I've been trying to clear up the law stubs by putting stubs into sub-categories. There's quite a lot of stubs in {{law-stub}} that could be in {{crime-stub}}. There are even some stubs in both of these categories. Am I right in assuming that?

  • {{crime-stub}} is a sub-category of {{law-stub}}, so anything related solely to criminal law (as opposed to an article involving both civil and criminal law) should be in {{crime-stub}} and not in {{law-stub}}, and

-- Caveat lector 20:52, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

  • I think it's like "law and order" when you examine the subject of crime. There's the POV of the police and then there's the POV of the courts. They overlap but they're different. I'm new to WP so I don't feel I know enough yet, but if there's no compelling WP reason to keep them law-stub and crime-stub from overlapping, I think the content-based decision goes to letting them overlap.
Besides, I'm not so sure you're going to be able to represent the structure of the law accurately enough that way in any event. It's a pretty safe bet you won't be able to construct a list of legal concepts which are pairwise disjoint and jointly exhaustive of the subject. (No, I didn't just make that up.) People like Layman Allen at Yale and Marek Sergot at Imperial College have been trying to do just that, and if they have finally done it, it's news to me.
I missed the point, right? --Jrgetsin 21:58, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
As a rule of thumb, the more valid stub cats an article is in, the more likely someone will fix it up. bd2412 T 22:23, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

State constitutions

I notice that our articles on the various state constitutions are in poor shape, and we have very few full texts over at wikisource:category:Constitutions of the United States. NoSeptember talk 13:12, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

  • To Do list, right? --Jrgetsin 21:48, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Legal disclaimer

Template:Legal disclaimer has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. Joe 02:50, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Request for Assistance

Could you have a look at Unliquidated damages. My limited legal knowledge makes me think that it is describing tort rather than contract law and needs rewriting. RicDod 19:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. I edited down the article, as most of it was poorly phrased. I left it with only one sentence describing the concept as well as I was able, but I've never run across the term before so perhaps it could be expanded further by someone who is more familiar with it. - Jersyko·talk 20:07, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Generally, liquidated damages is an issue of contract law - several states allow prejudgment interest for "liquidated" damages (i.e., damages the amount of which are known before the completion of the litigation,) but not for "unliquidated damages." So if, for example, I sue you for not delivering a part for my wheat threshing machine, and I say I want my $500 deposit back plus the damages due to lost wheat sales, the $500 is liquidated and entitled to interest from the moment of breach, but the lost sales are unliquidated and only entitled to interest from the moment of judgment.
Now all I have to do is find a verifiable source that says that, and we're golden.TheronJ 21:07, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Um, can we just merge and redirect this into liquidated damages (which needs content anyway)? After all, a liquidated damages clause is specifically used to recover a set amount when you would otherwise have unliquidated damages... BD2412 T 21:43, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
That would be my recommendationTheronJ 00:02, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks to you all for looking at this. RicDod 21:04, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Good move merging both into liquidated damages, which is almost invariably the phrase used to raise either side of the issue. The article still needs greater accuracy of statement and helpful citations. I can help with U.S. contract law, especially since I've drafted and litigated contracts in Massachusetts (State laws rule contracts even in federal courts). I'm pretty busy, though. I should put this on the To Do list, right? --Jrgetsin 21:47, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Law for Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates?

What do y'all say we try to get our Portal up to the standards to be featured? I think it meets most of the criteria now, and would welcome any suggestions for improvement. Cheers! BD2412 T 02:50, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Nebbia v. New York

Just a heads-up - I am going to be working on Nebbia v. New York over the next couple of days, so don't get rid of it just yet. RidG Talk 23:53, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I think it looks fine! I suggest that we remove the tag on the front page, since this article now looks complete.jgwlaw 20:29, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I removed the tag since there has been no further discussion or suggestions.jgwlaw 02:04, 17 July 2006 (UTC)


I’d like to ask for help with the article on mutiny. (Arrrr. There, I said it.) Apart from a general lack of content, I think the British section is problematic. It currently mostly consists of barely edited Britannica text from their article on military law (a topic that, in my opinion, is rather wide, but treated rather narrowly there), and much of the rest is an attempt at summarising that article. Because views and laws on mutiny might have changed a bit since then, that needs amending. Because the topic is a fairly important one in general, I think too little attention has been paid to its maintenance especially in that respect recently.

Disclosure: I have removed the Britannica text twice (leaving the summary in its place) but this has been reverted each time by User:Fastifex. I have not been able to achieve an agreement with that user about this matter and would welcome others’ views. I cannot debate the matter at large in any depth because I am neither a lawyer of any kind nor an specialist in military law.

However, the purpose of this message is to ask for verification, correction and expansion of the article. Thank you in advance. —xyzzyn 16:37, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

expert needed

Could someone knowledgeable in copyright law please have a look at the legal section of fanfiction? It has so many {{citation needed}} tags that it actually disrupts atteampts at reading the material. Circeus 00:18, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, for starters I've broken it out into its own article (legal issues in fan fiction), and cleaned up a few assertions... bd2412 T 00:52, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Ken Lay

There are some legal issues discussed in the Kenneth Lay article, a current event due to his sudden death. Can someone look into these? I notice the Abatement in pleading article referenced is a UK-centric article, while Lay is in the US legal system. NoSeptember 23:30, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Incorporation into 14th Amendment

I noticed that the article "jury trials" did not clarify that the 7th Amendment did not generally apply to the states. I wonder if this is a needed discussion, in other relevant articles. Input is welcome. Thanks!jgwlaw 05:10, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Class Action

This article had (and still has) serious problems. I added some information on various countries' treatment of collective actions, but this needs much better references than I could find. In addition, the article needs a clean-up and references, in general.jgwlaw 23:28, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Don't ignore Gasperini v. Ctr for Humanities though. non_curat_lex 16 December 2006.

Latin pronunciation

I have started a discussion at Category talk:Latin legal phrases on including Latin pronunciation in articles on Latin legal terms; please continuee the discussion there. Thanks.—msh210 04:54, 20 July 2006 (UTC)


The article Bridget Marks was apparently created by a banned user and has been edited repeatedly by puppet accounts of the banned user Amorrow. Could someone try to verify the article and check for NPOV? Thanks. --JWSchmidt 20:40, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I deleted the article since it was started by a sockpuppet of a banned user. Not sure that an article is really appropriate. FloNight talk 02:11, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Law school proposal

Moved from the front page:

I propose a wiki law school project, where law students can post their case briefs. This could supply WikiProject Law with some substantial case summaries and explanations. I am willing to post all my briefs to get the project started. But, I will need help setting up the project. Contact me if you want to help. Jlofgren

I had the same idea a while back, but discovered through trial and error that most of my briefs are useless as articles - found it better to start from scratch... however, it would be excellent to get a list of cases which should have articles based on their use in casebooks! bd2412 T 02:07, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Just remind me what a case brief is. Francis Davey 11:54, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
LOL, Francis. Surely you haven't forgotten those wonderful law school briefs!jawesq 04:24, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Need legal review :)

Hi all --

We've got a bunch of lingering legal terms over at Wikipedia:Articles_requested_for_more_than_a_year. Can someone take a look and delete any and all that in your estimation don't qualify as full articles (i.e. will never amount to more than a simple definition) ? Thanks! Bookgrrl 23:27, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Copying them here to save time. bd2412 T 04:10, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Adjuster - Administer - Bill of costs - Court calendar - Faciendum - Family division - Family purpose doctrine - Fault auto insurance system - Fem covert - Final decree - Final settlement - No action motion - Private carrier - Real party in interest - Redetermination - Registry of deeds - Remittitur - Res publica christiana - Retaining lien - Richthofen Trial - Secured transaction - Security agreement - Share capital - Special administrator - Specific finding - Stationhouse bail - Statutory offer of settlement - Summary adjudication of issues - Uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act -

For a start, I've redirected Family division to High Court of Justice page - is this the right wiki thing to do? --BramleyBarn 16:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
No - "family division" could apply to a whole lot of courts in a whole lot of countries. I've undone the redirect - this really should be a disambiguation page. Rebecca 03:22, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, ideally it should be it's own article - a "family division" is commonly the division of a court system that is concerned with adjudicating matters of family law, e.g. divorce, custody, adoption, etc. bd2412 T 03:31, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Also, I've struck administer, as that is a verb, and would be a dicdef if an article were made. bd2412 T 03:32, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
If it gets its own article as per your definition then there would have to be a redirect to the High Court article, because in England and Wales, the Family Division is a division of the High Court, not of the court system as a whole (family cases may be heard in county courts and magistrates courts for example). Francis Davey 14:52, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Not a problem - we create a main article at family division with an "otheruse" tag at the top leading to family division (diasmbiguation), with branches to whatever other articles require them. Did not know that about the division of the High Court - interesting stuff. bd2412 T 15:13, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

There was already a Feme covert article (which seems to be the more common spelling), and I greatly expanded this (but I'm not a lawyer). AnonMoos 17:14, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Legality of Compulsory sterilization and relation to human rights

The Compulsory sterilization article suggests that compulsory sterilization is a violation of human rights and Eugenics says that "forced sterilization of those with birth defects" is a human rights violation. I have tried to find a good reference for the idea that forced sterilization as a human rights violation. I found that The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women produced a "Platform for action" that discusses forced sterilization as violence against women in the context of violation of their human rights. I have no understanding of the legal standing of this "Platform for action". Can we (Wikipedia) safely say something like, "The United Nations has codified forced sterilization as a violation of human rights"? --JWSchmidt 00:17, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


Hi - I have just joined the project, and am having a stab at the Damages page- which was seriously in need. The whole question of Damages is clearly a central plank of law and can be linked in extensively, and any ideas or contributions here would be great, in particular how it best fits in. Its current position as a small subset of civil procedure I don't think is the best. --BramleyBarn 13:31, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

A few thoughts occur to me (which are probably not that helpful, but may be a start):
  1. damages may be a topic that is so big that it really need to be broken down into categories.
  2. the nomenclature gets very difficult, particularly between different jurisdictions. For example, 'punitive' damages in the US and 'exemplary' damages under English law.
  3. in some cases the terminology is simply contradictory - 'general' and 'special' damages in the UK are very different concepts to 'general' and 'special' damages when used elsewhere.
Which is really more a list of problems than offering solutions, but I suppose it underscores your original point that some intensive work is probably needed.
Legis 07:58, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Masturbation and the law

There's a factual accuracy tag at Masturbation#Law, can somebody look into it? Circeus 00:12, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Deed of trust

Trust instrument states that deed of trust and trust deed both refer to a trust instrument. However, in many US jurisdictions, a deed of trust is the preferred way of recording a security interest in real property, and has little to do with the common law of trusts except the terminology (at least in practice). In WA, and probably elsewhere, a deed of trust is legally distinct from a mortgage (which is statutorily possible but not used for decades). I think there ought to be a page for deed of trust to describe its use, foreclosure process, differences from a mortgage, etc. My dilemma: I'm too new to know what to name the page. I'm assuming that in the UK, deed of trust refers to the trust instrument, as stated on the page? Also, the disambiguation page for deed of trust mentions a song of the same name. So do I create a page "deed of trust (mortgage substitute)"? Any thoughts?--Zilonis 03:23, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

  • There are three jurisdictions in the United Kingdom. One at least -- Scotland is so different in its land law I dare not say anything about it. I practice in England and Wales and here a deed of trust would refer to a deed creating a trust. You don't need a deed to create a trust, but you might well use one. I've no idea how the terminology became applied to a mortgage substitute. Francis Davey 09:18, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Maybe you could name the page "Mortgages and Deeds of Trust" or "Security Interests in Real Property" or something. Legally speaking, an instrument is any document that by itself effects a change of ownership. Like a deed or mortgage. In a deed of trust, the borrower conveys title to the lender which can be redeemed by repayment. In a mortgage, the borrower conveys a conditional title to the lender which can be perfected in the event on nonpayment. Got that? The deed of trust came into being in the 1500's I think, something to do with the Statute of Uses. You know, I've already noticed that Equity and Trusts are topics needing attention. I'm qualified (Massachusetts lawyer) but kinda busy. I'll add them to the To Do list, anyway, once I'm a card carrying member of the Law Project. --Jrgetsin 21:35, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I haven't had time to write anything yet, but Jrgetsin's comment raises a question. In WA, case law has made it clear that a deed of trust is only a security interest--title is not actually conveyed to the lender, but the lender has a lien. (See 18 Wash. Prac., Real Estate § 20.6.) In other states (MA, for example), is legal title actually conveyed to the lender? Seems like an important distinction.--Zilonis 02:49, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Not sure I understand the issue here. Deed of trust is a separate disambiguation page from trust instrument. If there is something in WA called a "deed of trust" that is not currently contemplated, surely it should go in as a disambiguation link under that page? I don't think the article on trust instruments needs to be amended simply because it notes that trust instruments are sometimes called deeds of trust, but in some jurisdictions this may not be the case deeds of trust may mean something else there. Legis 16:05, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

International Court of Justice cases

While doing some studying for my international law course last night, I happened to come across the List of International Court of Justice cases article last night. I think this might just be the most pitiful list I've yet seen on Wikipedia.

I was going to flesh the list out and add every case (as they're all likely to be notable and there isn't so many that they couldn't all go in the list), but I'm not sure what naming conventions to use. I was going to go with the State vs. State format, as we would for, say, US Supreme Court cases, but the ICJ site only seems to use that for about 80% of the contested cases. What do we do for the rest of those (i.e. the ones that use the "Asylum (Colombia/Peru) (1949-1950)" format?

There's also the issue of what to do with the advisory opinions. I can see three different formats in use at the moment:

Any suggestions on either of these points? I could really do with some assistance so I can flesh out this list. Rebecca 04:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Anyone? Rebecca 00:50, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Belated answer, sorry for the delay.
The convention for contentious cases is that the descriptive name comes first, then the adversary name, e.g. Case Concerning Sovereignty over Eastern Greenland (Norway v. Denmark). In citations, the words "Case Concerning" are generally omitted. In advisory opinion cases, there is only the descriptive name. Then again, you probably already knew that.
For Wikipedia naming purposes, the question is whether it would be obvious from the name that the case was a court case. Where it is, the official name would suffice; where not, a qualifier might be needed. On the other hand, consistency of formatting is a virtue too.
I don't know that I've advanced the ball here, but I did want you to know someone noticed your question. We have the same problem here at Wikipedia in naming RfAr arbitration cases (see the RfAr talk page)! Regards, Newyorkbrad 16:16, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


A couple of things have been bugging me for a while, which I think would be nice if we could agree a consensus within the project group for standardisation.

  • Case citations. Because of the way searches on Wikipedia work, it would be really nice if we could standardise articles which are also case names as either containing full stops or not, ie. "R. v. Brown" or "R v Brown". I have no strong views either way (mildly in favour of no punctuation because it works better with grammar checkers on word processors), but it would be nice if a standard could be agreed and stuck to.
  • Transnational topics. Too many articles seem to get written by a lawyer from a single jurisdiction which solely relate to the laws as they apply in that jurisdiction. That may be appropriate in some cases (the article on Table A is only ever going to be about English law - Chapter 11 is always going to be US Federal bankruptcy law), but, for example, the article on partnership is written only with reference to the laws of Victoria. I have nothing against Victoria, I am sure that as parts of Australia go, it is up there with the best of them, but it looks slightly parochial here. It would be nice if we could agree some kind of framework for transnational legal topics. I think the paradigm would probably be to have a main article covering the area of law as it works generally, and then have sub-headings at the end to point out jurisdictional quirks. Admittedly this can get out of hand (see murder), but it would be nice if we could try and agree a framework to work towards. It may be that we need to break some topics up (e.g. "murder (law)", "murder (US law)", "murder (common law)" or something similar. Although I am trying to outline the problem rather than suggest solutions at this stage.

Any views? Legis 16:29, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject Supreme Court Cases uses "v." and for everything else uses the format that the court that made the decision used - most of our article names are the official "short name" of the case - with redirects from previous "short names" (if the order/name has been changed since it was heard at a lower court), from the "long name", and from likely mispellings. --Tim4christ17 16:34, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
The full stops issue is a national one - while the US uses "v.", Australia for one uses just "v", and our WikiProject reflects this difference accordingly. Rebecca 03:39, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Yep. Can't impose the full stop on other countries (and it would be the incorrect case name, in any event). bd2412 T 03:42, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
The only inconsistencies that should be corrected are for the UK cases. It frequently alternates between the two formats. I have no idea what is the dominant practice over there, but it would be good to find out and stick with it for those cases. -PullUpYourSocks 14:56, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Asking for review

I have expanded Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc.. Could someone please review it to make sure I didn't introduce errors? Please also check for POV issues; I'm too deeply involved at Template talk:PD-USSR to trust myself to produce unbiased writing in this case. Lupo 06:54, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Youth Offending Team

Does this article come under the wings of this project? --SGGH 17:17, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Boris Bittker

New stub. - CrazyRussian talk/email 19:28, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikiproject Taxation

I was considering creating a new Wikiproject for Taxation. I didn't know if this would best fall under law, economics, government, or perhaps its own entity. We have quite a few tax related articles that could probably use some central project. Any thoughts on if it should be a workgroup of the Law Wikiproject (similar to the Biography Wikiproject setup) or one of the others I mentioned, or again - not associated and off on its own. Morphh (talk) 00:40, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Rating of legal articles

I came across this page when looking at something else entirely: Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Assessment. Broadly, they are internally reviewing and classifying all Bio articles. Should we try to do something similar for legal articles? I notice that under law we have only one FA and no GAs. So some internal peer review may not go amiss. Legis 13:20, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Something similar was started at WP:SCOTUS. {{WP SCOTUS}}. It's not a bad idea. · j e r s y k o talk · 13:29, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Notice Template

Do you have a notice template? If not, you need one (I don't know hot to create one) --201 03:34, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean. Can you point to an example? Thanks! · j e r s y k o talk · 03:37, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

One like this: {{TelevisionWikiProject}}, to add to every law related talk page.--201 07:28, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

User:201 is a confirmed sockpuppet of a user blocked for disruptive editing. CovenantD 20:05, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

"To do" list

On the to-do list on the main project page, would it be possible to compile a list of the articles in Category:Pages needing expert attention that relate to law? I was able to pick out the following that had at least some call for legal content:

  1. Alternative dispute resolution
  2. Caparo Industries Plc. v Dickman
  3. Community ownership
  4. Contagious Diseases Acts
  5. Corporal punishment
  6. Dormant Commerce Clause
  7. Executive Order 12986
  8. Gun control in the United States (by state)
  9. Inciting racial hatred
  10. Law of Germany
  11. Legal aspects of transsexualism
  12. Legal drinking age
  13. Malfeasance
  14. Morissette v. United States
  15. Motion (legal)
  16. Omnibus hearing
  17. People v. Marsden
  18. Perez v. Sharp
  19. Personal injury lawyer
  20. Prostitution in India
  21. Raymond V. Damadian
  22. Rehabilitation (penology)
  23. Scott v. Illinois
  24. Seaman's act
  25. Status of religious freedom in the United Kingdom
  26. Statutory Corporation
  27. Statutory license
  28. Stuart v. Laird
  29. Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992
  30. Uberrima fides (sp?)
  31. United States civil copyright enforcement procedure
  32. United States v. Thompson-Center Arms Company
  33. Upjohn v. United States
  34. War Measures Act
  35. Williamson v. Lee Optical Co.

but there may be others too (eg. judges names or law schools that I did not recognise). Legis 13:55, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Category for people who were convicted of "manslaughter"

There's the case of Bertrand Cantat. Should he be put on Category:Murderers or should there be another category for "manslaughter"? bogdan 12:01, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Project directory

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 22:11, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Request for Help

Noone other than I has made substantive edits to the article Struck jury since it was created in August 2005. I saw it on, and rescued it from, AFD back in May 2006. I'm currently leaning towards a move and evolution to the more generic term Special jury, of which a struck jury is a specific type. Can anyone lend a hand and/or comment? The article needs globalization, and some section stubs expanded. I don't have access to any non-free online law sources myself, which limits my expansion ability. GRBerry 01:48, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Need help from people familiar with Louisiana law

I began an article on Louisiana law borrowing some of the material on the Louisiana page with a few additions and links. If anyone here can add to it or edit it in any useful way, I would be highly appreciative. --Eastlaw 01:05, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Individual laws

Does this porject also deal with individual laws or just with types of laws?--Lucy-marie 11:49, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

If an individual law is sufficiently important, it can have its own article. Or if you just need help in relation to a particular point of law in relation to another article on a non-legal topic, you can post a request here and someone should be able to help you out. Legis 12:02, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Request for comment in CFD

I thought this CFD could benefit from more contributors versed in the state/federal court systems. The proposal is simply to add "state court" to all the state court judge categories, to clarify their purpose (e.g., "Alabama judges" --> "Alabama state court judges"). Many of the comments so far have left me confused. Postdlf 02:32, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Peer review request

Lately, I have been working on criminology topics which is an area that Wikipedia sorely lacks. Last weekend, I discovered there was no article on "Gun violence", so started one. Most of the research literature pertains to the United States, so the article has become Gun violence in the United States. Obviously, people have strong POV on this topic. To try and rise above politics, I have only included the highest quality reliable sources (mainly peer reviewed, scholarly journals). Personally, I really don't have a POV on this topic, and am staying out of the Gun politics in the United States article. With the gun violence article, I have stayed with presenting the current state of research on this topic. I think is close to featured status, though some "gun rights" folks have already come along and place a neutrality tag on the article. I could really use some peer review on the article, at this point. Do you at all agree with the person who placed the neutrality tag? Any suggestions on making in more NPOV. In reality, I feel that the article deals fairly with both POVs, citing strategies advocated by gun-control folks as ineffective, while citing some strategies advocated by the Bush administration as effective. Do you have any suggestions on improving the article? are there aspects of the topic that are missing? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have filed a formal peer request here, though feel free to leave comments on the article talk page if you prefer. Thanks. --Aude (talk) 13:13, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

New template for US federal judge bio articles

I have created Template:BioDirFedJud, to be used as a source credit in articles (primarily, biographies of U.S. federal judges) deriving information from the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges compiled by the Federal Judicial Center. I modelled the template on Template:Bioguide, which is used for Congressional articles containing information from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

The new template displays as follows:


Please let me have any feedback on the template over the next few days before I start tagging it to the appropriate articles. Thanks, Newyorkbrad 21:51, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Looks good, but what an awful name! - crz crztalk 23:15, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I thought that too after I had created it, especially when I realized I might be typing it several hundred times (although I think I have located a bot that can do it). What name would you suggest? Newyorkbrad 23:19, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Second Czr's take. I'd suggest dropping the bio bit anyway; as abundantly clear. Which leaves DirFedJud, but why the Dir? USFedJudge would work so far as I can tell. Thoughts? KillerChihuahua?!? 01:08, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
On second thought, maybe keep the Dir. What about DirJudge? looks a little like Dirge though... ack, this is harder than it looks. KillerChihuahua?!? 01:10, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
This is exactly what I went through in trying to decide. :) Keep the suggestions coming.... Newyorkbrad 01:14, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I suggest {{FJC}} - crz crztalk 04:15, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Lawrence v. Texas

Lawrence v. Texas is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy (Talk) 18:59, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

expert category

Note that you now have: Category:Pages needing expert attention from Law experts. Would someone care to look at Myocardial_infarction#Legal_implications and remove the template if it is ok like that? Thanks. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 01:01, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm not enough of an expert on that sub-issue to feel confident removing the template, but I did add a sentence of additional info. Newyorkbrad 01:05, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Experts required on these articles

Hey there folks. Could you have a look at Category:Pages needing expert attention from Law experts? I'm in the middle of sorting out the expert requests and the ones in your field are going to go there. Thanks much! --Brad Beattie (talk) 03:58, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Law templates

I strongly feel that the templates covering the law pages could be improved. Although they have performed well until now I believe their layout is often confusing and that they could be aesthetically improved.

I would appreciate other users' comments on the following proposed redesigns:

If there is consensus around these templates then the other ones can be updated as well. A list of all the relevant law templates is on my user page. Thanks Andeggs 16:11, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Beginning cross-post.

See Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team#Stablepedia. If you wish to comment, please comment there. MESSEDROCKER 03:20, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

End cross-post. Please do not comment more in this section.

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

First Amendment to the United States Constitution is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy (Talk) 17:20, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Lawyer Bias

I've noticed that a number of law articles, especially those that cover the sorts of topics you'd find in a 1L curriculum in an American law school, seem to be suffering from what you might call "lawyer bias" - a tendency to focus on purely legal aspects of a subject at the expense of other perspectives. For example, Contract goes into remarkable detail concerning minutiae like the difference between terms implied in fact and terms implied in law, but has little to nothing on the history, philosophy, or theory of contract. Nor is there anything on what you might call economic or sociological aspects of contract - for example, the factors that influence how a contract is negotiated (or not). Property law is similar. Even though, unlike "Contract," the title indicates it's specifically about law, it still focuses on a lawyer's view of the subject - for example, there is no history section. I don't know what to do about this, but it seems to be a serious systematic bias, probably due to the fact that the people who edit articles on these topics are mostly lawyers and law students. Elliotreed 10:03, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I havd noticed the same (I made similar comments on the talk page when I did a re-write of arbitration), but obviously as a lawyer myself, I tend to restrict my writing to areas within my expertise and leave it to others to embellish the articles with socio-economic or other information. Not a perfect solution, but at least it starts things on their way. Legis (talk - contributions) 14:16, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps what we need is some way of indicating that people with non-legal expertise should edit the article. I'm thinking of something like the worldwide view tag, except for "non-legal perspective". Elliotreed 18:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps something like that could work. Some kind of protocol would need to be agreed as to its use though. Purely legal articles on esoteric legal points like the Rule in Shelley's Case wouldn't benefit much from such a tag. Legis (talk - contributions) 18:19, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Articles about specific legal doctrines often shouldn't need such a tag. I was more thinking of cases like Contract where the subject matter has substantial elements other than doctrine, but the article is slanted toward a statement of doctrine as it currently stands. Elliotreed 18:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Notability criteria

Have any of you people ever written down notability criteria for your law articles? I'm trying to formulate proposals for architectural notability and there's some overlap with law regarding "The law relating to architects". It would be good to a. reference your criteria, b. apply it to contract law, party wall acts etc.etc.etc. cheers. --Mcginnly | Natter 16:10, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any (and would oppose a move to do so ;) ). · j e r s y k o talk · 16:16, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I guess you could say that all law is notable anyway because it affects us all. But the List of Law & Order trivia clearly was not. I'll presuppose notability for all contract, employment, land, tort, equity, statute and case law. cheers. PS why do you oppose notability guidance? --Mcginnly | Natter 21:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
It is slightly difficult to separate out notability on legal issues because it is so territorial. Miranda v Arizona is clearly critical to American law, but of little relevance elsewhere. We recent had a FA on an Australian HC decision and I had never even heard of it. Clearly something like Somersett's case is more important than EU regulations on packaging requirements for toys, but agreeing a general framework would be tricky. Legis (talk - contributions) 10:34, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Trying to set out general criteria for something like this is madness. The strategy of case being notable if we agree it is notable hasn't failed us so far. Rebecca 10:37, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Joseph Beale

I would like to see someone create at least a stub of a biography for this notable professor and scholar, reporter for the Restatement (First) of Conflicts of Law, which was a very significant work for several decades. Non_curat_lex 00:51, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 23:22, 29 December 2006 (UTC)