Judiciary

Posner tells how Internet research has helped him draft opinions


Judge Richard Posner thinks judges and lawyers are too often ignoring a valuable source of information: the Internet.

In a forthcoming book, Reflections on Judging, the Chicago-based federal appeals judge writes that the Internet is “an incredible compendium of data” that isn’t going away, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub. req.) reports.

Posner acknowledges that Internet research can lead to errors, but so can the traditional fact-finding process at trial, he says. Witnesses may lie, he points out, and expert testimony may be unreliable.

Posner gives some examples of his own online research, the story reports. He once used the Internet to investigate usage of the word “harboring.” He also went online to find “technically sophisticated but lucid explanations” on subjects such as remote wiping of cellphones and laptop data recovery.

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