How Public is the Law: Part 6


The MSBA listserv seems to have changed over time.  First, I want to note that emails are sent to attorneys, attaching purported pdf’s of cases.  Those cases often have a number, and to me, as a user of a large scanner that advertises itself as creating pdf’s from paper, it seems these numbers are automatically generated by such machine.

If that is the case, in what form did the MSBA first obtain these orders?  Because they do not look like they are scanned paper.  Is the MSBA being given word documents, and is the MSBA turning word documents into (purported) pdf’s?  And if so, why?

If that is occurring, how can a lawyer be sure the text is exactly as the district or appellate judge authored it?

Further, until fairly recently, someone was taking the time to describe the important holdings in the cases.   Now, that only happens with certain cases.  I’ve noticed several trends in this regard, but in particular, I note that when a lawyer gets whacked by the opinion (or, that is, by the MSBA-distributed version of the opinion), that gets in the email as part of the summary.

Who is writing these blurbs, and who is making these decisions?

Further, what server does the MSBA use?  MSBA contends it is not a public company, because it supports itself from membership dues.  But if it is getting in kind contributions, either from government or other sources, doesn’t that change the nature of the organization?

Email from MSBA listserv