Cases Citing Legal Blogs - Updated List
This is a collection of court cases that cite legal blogs. It is an update to this previous list, which included quotations from the cases. Since April 15, 2006, when that list was first posted, there have been 6 additional court cases citing legal blogs. Those are named and quoted in these two posts. At the time of this current post (August 6, 2006), there are 32 citations of legal blogs from 27 different cases, with 8 legal blogs being cited.
Crime and Federalism – 1 citation
- Priester v. Rich, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36831, *11 n4 (D. Ga. 2006) – citation to commentary on blog
De Novo - 1 citation
- United States v. Scott, 450 F.3d 863, 894 n5 (9th Cir. 2006) – citation to commentary on blog
How Appealing – 1 citation
- Kennedy v. Lockyer, 379 F.3d 1041, 1065 (9th Cir. 2004) – citation to interview on blog
Legal Theory Blog – 1 citation
Legal Theory Blog – 1 citation
- Brasher’s Cascade Auto Auction v. Valley Auto Sales & Leasing, 119 Cal. App. 4th 1038, 1057 (Cal. Ct. App. 2004) – citation to lexicon on blog
Patently-O – 1 citation
- Collaboration Props. v. Tandberg ASA, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43930, *11 (D. Cal. 2006) – citation to document on blog
Sentencing Law and Policy – 24 citations in 19 cases
- United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 278 (2005) (Stevens, J., dissenting) – citation to document on blog
- United States v. Penaranda, 375 F.3d 238, 247 (2d Cir. 2004) – citation to blog generally
- United States v. Ameline, 376 F.3d 967, 978 (9th Cir. 2004); Ameline, 376 F.3d at 986 (Gould, J., dissenting) – 2 citations by majority to articles on blog, 1 citation by dissent to blog generally
- United States v. Cage, 451 F.3d 585, *26 n5 (10th Cir. 2006) – citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Rodriguez, 406 F.3d 1261, 1284 (11th Cir. 2005) (Tjoflat, J., dissenting) – citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Levy, 391 F.3d 1327, 1341 (11th Cir. 2004) (Tjoflat, J., dissenting) – citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Valencia-Aguirre, 409 F. Supp. 2d 1358, 1379 (D. Fla. 2006) – 1 citation to blog generally, 1 citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Kandirakis, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53243, *3 n4 (D. Mass. 2006); Kandirakis, *44 n36 – 1 citation to document on blog, 1 citation to blog generally (but referring to analysis)
- United States v. Bailey, 369 F. Supp. 2d 1090, 1092 (D. Neb. 2005) – citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Khan, 325 F. Supp. 2d 218, 223 (D. N.Y. 2004) – citation to blog generally
- United States v. Onunwor, Order NO. 1:04-CR-211 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 19, 2004) – citation to court order quoted on blog
- United States v. Phelps, 366 F. Supp. 2d 580, 584 (D. Tenn. 2005) – citation to document on blog
- United States v. Croxford, 324 F. Supp. 2d 1255, 1261 (D. Utah 2004) – citation to article on blog
- United States v. Wilson (Feb. 2, 2005), 355 F. Supp. 2d 1269, 1271, 1286 (D. Utah 2005) – 1 citation to document on blog, 1 citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Wilson (Jan. 12, 2005), 350 F. Supp. 2d 910, 922 (D. Utah 2005) – citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Johnson, 333 F. Supp. 2d 573, 577 (D. W. Va. 2004) – citation to commentary on blog
- United States v. Greer, 375 F. Supp. 2d 790, 795 (D. Wis. 2005) – citation to announcement on blog
- Smylie v. State, 823 N.E.2d 679, 687 (Ind. 2005) – citation to commentary on blog
- State v. Foster, 2006 Ohio 856, P8 (Ohio 2006) – citation to blog generally
The UCL Practitioner – 1 citation
- Tsukroff v. Hedgeside Property & Inv. Co., California Superior Court, Napa County, case no. 26-25117 (order dated 01/19/05) (unpublished) – citation to collection of court orders and appellate briefs on blog
The Volokh Conspiracy – 2 citations
- Harper v. Poway Unified Sch. Dist., 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 19164, *6 (9th Cir. 2006) (O’Scannlain, J., dissenting) – citation to commentary on blog
- Suboh v. Borgioli, 298 F. Supp. 2d 192, 194 (D. Mass. 2004) – citation to song parody on blog
* Note: The original list named the Ameline case twice, because it cites Sentencing Law and Policy in the majority and the dissent. Ameline is now listed once instead of twice. The original list also included the case of Batzel v. Smith, 351 F.3d 904, 906 (9th Cir. 2003). Batzel is not included in this updated list because it merely names examples of "popular and respected legal blogs" without citing any one as an authority. Those blogs are How Appealing (new URL), SCOTUSBlog, The Volokh Conspiracy, and Lessig Blog.
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Tracked on May 11, 2007 6:47:51 PM
I went down the list of topics on this blog and was astonished to find that there was no mention of the problem of arbitrary censorship of comments and commenters on blogs. By "arbitrary censorship," I mean censorship of a comment or commenter merely because the blogger disagrees with the opinions and/or arguments of that comment or commenter. Blogs where there is arbitrary censorship are not reliable sources because the bloggers on those blogs have shown an intention to present just one side of controversial issues. Also, it is ironical that highly persuasive opposing comments are among the kinds of comments most likely to be censored. It is either very naive or very dishonest to pretend that arbitrary censorship on blogs does not exist.
I am especially interested in getting replies from readers here who have themselves been victims of arbitrary censorship on blogs. I hope that this comment shows you that you are not alone.
Does a blogger have a "right" to have his blog cited in court opinions and law journal articles? And don't the authors and readers of court opinions and law journal articles have a right to know when the ideas expressed in a particular blog are tainted because of the practice of arbitrary censorship of comments and commenters on that blog? Would the courts cite law journals that have a policy of automatically rejecting comments that are critical of the journal's articles? And don't the courts, law journals, and law journal article authors have a right to be concerned that they might make a costly and/or embarrassing mistake or that their own credibility might be damaged as a result of arbitrary censorship on blogs that they cite? And is there anything wrong with discouraging judges, law journals, and law journal article authors from making or accepting citations of blogs that practice arbitrary censorship?
Courts often hear challenges to administrative decisions that have been subjected to public hearings that include written comments from individuals. Should the administrators be allowed to censor comments and commenters that they do not agree with? After all, it is the administrators' decision, isn't it?
Because blogging is relatively new, a lot of people still tend to think of blogs as just personal or private websites and therefore think that bloggers should feel free to censor as they please. Legal citations of blogs in court opinions are quite new -- the dates on the list of such citations here are 2004 and later. Legal citations of blogs in law journals must also be new because blogging itself is new. Because all of this is new, there has not been enough time to develop reasonable standards for legal citation of blogs. Blogs are now very attractive for legal citation precisely because they are open -- or should be open -- to a broad range of opinions and arguments. In fact, whereas the frequency of court opinions' citations of blogs has increased, studies have shown that the frequency of court opinions' citations of law journal articles has declined. With the greatly increased importance of legal blogs -- and some other kinds of blogs -- should also come increased responsibility. A blogger who practices arbitrary censorship should not expect to have any opportunity to have his blog legally cited.
This issue of arbitrary censorship is of particular importance in legal blogging because of the great gravity of court opinions and law journal articles that cite legal blogs. These are not blogs about underwater basketweaving. Many of the court opinions' citations of blogs specifically cite comments in the comment threads, so arbitrary censorship of comments cannot even begin to be defended by a blind assertion that the judges do not bother to read the comments. And court opinions and law journal articles are not restricted to citing legal blogs -- I know of a specific instance where a law journal article cited a blog that is primarily a science blog -- see
To me, it is a no-brainer that blogs where the bloggers arbitrarily censor should not be used in legal citations. If we do not face this problem now, it is likely to come back to haunt us.
Posted by: Larry Fafarman | Apr 4, 2007 4:36:14 AM
My blog has a new article, titled "Why so few court citations of blogs?", at --
I know that just posting a link without comments is often frowned upon, but the above article has a lot of embedded links and embedded links are not highlighted here by underlining or other means. I would greatly appreciate it if any responding comments are left on both this blog and my own blog.
Posted by: Larry Fafarman | Apr 26, 2007 3:27:06 PM
@ Larry: I read your blog, and it's pretty good. Keep up the good work...
Posted by: trademark registration | Apr 8, 2008 6:47:42 PM
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