Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spindle Law and the Evidence Module in Legal Education

Spindle Law, which carries the evidence module that I edit, got favorable comment in Prism Legal (August 15, 2010). Ron Friedmann wrote (in part):
Spindle Law is “is a new kind of legal research and writing system”. It presents a taxonomy of law through which a user can drill down to find authority for points of law. It is a ’social media’ or ‘crowd sourcing’ approach. Ambrogi writes
“Spindle Law resembles a treatise, in that it assembles rules of law together with the authorities to back up those rules. Structurally, it organizes the law into a tree, with each branch leading to ever-narrowing branches. Thus, the broad branch “courts” leads to narrower branches for “evidence” and “civil procedure,” and each of those branches leads to increasingly narrower branches.”
I can see how Spindle Law’s graphic approach, coupled with community contributions, could lead to a valuable legal research tool. While not an immediate threat to law firms, a system like this could evolve to be an important resource for in-house counsel. Why pay even associate rates if a quick consultation of Spindle Law were to yield a reasonably reliable answer?
Although I doubt that Spindle Law will make lawyers or junior lawyers superfluous -- for one thing, authority and cases run often run in different directions; for another thing, the law changes; and for yet another thing, the stated rules are often or always fuzzy to some degree -- I do think Spindle Law can become an efficient tool for legal research -- and for legal education. This is why I have incorporated the evidence module into my Evidence course: Spindle Law is a lovely way to describe (and find) relatively settled corners of legal doctrines such as subsequent remedial measures. (The comments sections of Spindle Law allow and encourage discussion of legal doctrines and practices: Spindle Law is not just about black-letter rules -- though it does operate on the premise that some legal rules and principles are relatively settled and are therefore relatively black-letter.)


The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

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