Skip to main content

Will Texas Take One Step Closer to Uniform Citation?

On the Tex Parte Blog, Angela Morris recently wrote about an impending hearing by the Texas Supreme Court to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a PACER-like system for Texas courts. From an access-to-information standpoint, this would be a great development! Not only would it make accessing court documents much easier state-wide, but it would require the creation of "a centralized service".

As anyone who has been following the debate over the creation of uniform (or neutral) citation standards should recognize, one of the largest obstacles to uniform citation is the lack in many states of a centralized body responsible for assigning sequential numbers to the opinions of that particular state's many courts. Thus, for example, in Texas, there is currently no body charged with assigning unique sequential opinion numbers to all of the opinions from the various Texas Courts of Appeals. (Of course, Texas could take a leap forward and utilize a neutral format similar to Louisiana's, but c'mon, nobody really wants that.)

Granted, even if the system envisioned by the Texas Supreme Court were to be implemented, it would not, of itself, establish a centralized body charged with assigning sequential numbers to the opinions of the state's courts. However, I believe it would still be a positive first step toward such an institution. Once Texas has a centralized body working with the case documents from all the courts, it is not too much of a stretch to imagine that body's mission expanding to include practices that would be conducive to the establishment of a vendor- and format-neutral citation standard for Texas. That may be a long ways off, but one can dream.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades

It’s that time of year again. Law students across the country are poring over their class notes and supplements, putting the finishing touches on their outlines, and fueling their all-night study sessions with a combination of high-carb snacks and Java Monsters. This can mean only one thing: exam time is approaching.

If you’re looking for a brief but effective guide to improving your exam performance, the O’Quinn Law Library has the book for you. Alex Schimel’s Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades, now in its second edition, provides a clear and concise strategy for mastering the issue-spotting exams that determine the majority of your grade in most law school classes. Schimel finished second in his class at the University Of Miami School Of Law, where he taught a wildly popular exam workshop in his 2L and 3L years, and later returned to become Associate Director of the Academic Achievement Program. The first edition of his book was written shortly after he finished law school, …

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …