Layne S. Keele


Part I of this Article explores that ambivalence by examining conflicting judicial canons and court opinions addressing the issue. Part II examines the benefits and drawbacks of judicial Internet research with respect to adjudicative facts. In particular, it elaborates on arguments offered by defenders of this kind of research, most notably Judge Richard A. Posner. Part II also highlights the dangers by showing that adjudicative fact research detracts from the reliability of our justice system and undermines due process of law. Part III addresses judges’ online research of legislative facts. It discusses the use of legislative facts by courts generally, and then considers the Internet’s impact on courts’ use of legislative facts. This Part also raises some of the unique risks attendant on Internet research of legislative facts. Part IV describes some additional changes that have resulted from the new world of judicial fact research, including its impact on the adversary system and its role in the explosion of judicial notice. Finally, Part V offers some suggestions for minimizing risks associated with independent judicial online research by evaluating the purpose of the research and the authenticity and reliability of online information.



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