Notes on jurisdiction bugfixes etc.

Notes on jurisdiction bugfixes etc.

(from the Jurism mailing lists)

Notes on a recent update to Jurism (5.0.93m14), which brings some further changes that will be of particular interest to legal users. Recent clients should update automatically. Manual update of versions at 5.0.66 or older is strongly recommended.

Jurisdiction validity highlight

The Jurisdiction field displays a human-readable value, such as Germany|DE or DE|Bremen. In ordinary use, these values are stored under the hood as machine-readable codes (for these examples, de and de:bremen), and the machine-readable code is used to produce correct jurisdiction and court abbreviations. Under some (unusual) conditions, a jurisdiction name (i.e. a non-code value) can be stored in the Jurism database, and this can cause abbreviations to fail, resulting in incorrect citations.

Previous versions of Jurism did not mark such “invalid” jurisdiction entries in any way, which could lead to frustration. From the 5.0.93m14 release, Jurisdiction fields with an invalid underlying value will be highlighted in yellow, to make them easier to identify and correct. (Reentry of jurisdiction values has also been made less cumbersome—see the following note).

Jurisdiction data entry

In ordinary use, the content of the jurisdiction field is set from a controlled list that sets the correct underlying machine-readable value to match the jurisdiction name displayed in the field. The controlled list is accessed by opening the field for editing, and either typing a portion of the jurisdiction name, or pressing the down-arrow key. The desired jurisdiction can then be selected from the list. In previous versions of Jurism, the target jurisdiction could only be selected by clicking on it with the mouse, which could lead to frustration. From the 5.0.93m14 release, values can be selected from the drop-down list by navigating with the arrow keys and hitting enter. (It is not longer necessary to use the mouse.)

Document integration crash on certain jurisdiction/court inputs

It was previously possible to crash the citation processor or (worse) throw it into an endless loop, in one of two ways:

  • Attempting to render certain citations with an invalid Jurisdiction value (described above); or
  • Attempting to render certain citations with an empty Court field.

Both of these bugs have been addressed. In such cases the citation produced will be incorrect, of course, but the system will not crash, and correcting the item in Jurism will fix the citation.

Translator updates

The improvements to citation translators mentioned in “Jurism dev notes #11” very likely did not feed through to your Jurism client. This was due to outdated timestamp records, which have now been fixed. The improved translators should appear with the 5.0.93m14 update, and Jurism should produce clean attachments from the CourtListener, Google Scholar, and Cornell LII US Code sites. (Note that the Google Scholar translator will work best for grabs from individual case views - grabs from a search listing are known to do a poor job of pulling citation data from GS cases).

That’s it for today. We are taking the stresses of this interval one day at a time here in Nagoya, and we hope that you are able to do the same. There is a burden in the waiting, but better times will come.

Frank Bennett 2020-12-14 Nagoya