CZ Talk:Law Workgroup

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Discussion move

The following material was originally posted on either my talk page or that of K kay Shearin and is being moved here because it concerns the Law WG. James F. Perry 09:44, 24 February 2007 (CST)

Article for Law Workgroup?

. . . (some material here which was not relevant to the Law WG) . . .

Oh, and I'm working on the Trial of Joan of Arc page. It is currently in the History Workgroup. I was thinking of moving it to the Law Workgroup where it would go with other famous Trials (Socrates, Scopes, Nuremburg, etc). What do you think? James F. Perry 23:07, 19 February 2007 (CST)

I love the idea, because I was planning on marking articles about famous legal cases as Law Workgroup anyhow, but I may be prejudiced. Can an article be in more than one workgroup, as I've assumed it could? If so, why don't you put it in both? If not, why don't you give it to Law, for the very reason you gave? -- k kay shearin 23:29, 19 February 2007 (CST)

Multiple Workgroups for articles

Apparently, articles can be placed in more than one category. The following page indicates that the new Article Checklist has space provided for up to 3 categories:

CZ:The Article Checklist

This is nice. It means I don't have to wrestle with deciding whether Joan of Arc goes in History or Religion and such questions.

I have started a listing of High Priority articles on the Law Workgroup home page. I can't really develop it that far since I lack basic expertise in that field. The Trial of Joan of Arc article is likely to be the only Law WG article I work on.

James F. Perry 18:05, 20 February 2007 (CST)

I've been thinking about your idea about articles on famous trials and your professed lack of legal expertise, and I'd be willing to supply the latter if you'd take the lead on the former, at least until some other folks get on board. I don't have an appropriate point of view to paint the big picture this general-purpose encyclopedia needs. Normal people, for example, don't care that I think the West Memphis 3 and O. J. Simpson trials are the two sides of one coin, or that I think they're in one basket with the Salem Witch trials while Joan of Arc and Scopes and Socrates are in another and the trials of wives and ministers of kings are in another. I also wonder if, with so many philosophers among us, we might get a workgroup of experts to provide the sociological/psychological/political insight to add to the legal analyses the Law Workgroup would provide, because that's the aspect of the trials that gets people so worked up about them, and I'd like to see that laid out in the articles. -- k kay shearin 14:43, 21 February 2007 (CST)

The Big Write

Larry Sanger just created the following article:

If I'm not mistaken, you're an Editor, so you can nominate articles. I just expanded the Trials section on the Law WG page. The entire list could probably be usefully expanded to between 100 and 150 articles.

Two really important ones: Magna Carta and Inquisition.

James F. Perry 20:36, 21 February 2007 (CST)

As I said before, I'm too close to the topic to have a good perspective, so I'll defer to your list of what articles about trials are 'high priority' for the Law Workgroup (and, yes, I am a CZ editor, and I suppose I qualify as such in law, because my only doctorate is in that subject, altho I have degrees in several other fields, but not in the ones I'm most interested in writing about, unfortunately), but I can't help exhibiting my lawyerness/attorneyhood by asking if you don't think it would be a good idea to subdivide the (sub)topic into civil trials and criminal trials, because different bodies of law apply to them, and they're based on totally different ideas: Civil law and, therefore, civil trials are about disputes between individual citizens within the society, but criminal law and trials are about disputes between an individual and society as a whole, which is why they can be so outrageously unjust. -- k kay shearin 00:17, 22 February 2007 (CST)

I am continuing to add articles, bit by bit, to the High Priority Law WG list. Two trials articles just added: the 1919 Black Sox baseball scandal and Flood v. Kuhn (baseball anti-trust exemption). Let me know if yoiu think these, or any others, aren't really that high priority.

I just checked at Wikipedia and they do not have an article on John Goldmark (Goldmark libel case). I do not believe I am wrong in my assessment of this trial's importance. WP doesn't have an article on the Trial of Joan of Arc either.

One known problem: there is a very strong U.S. centric bias to the listing so far. There really isn't much I can do about that due to limited knowledge of the subject elsewhere in the world.

James F. Perry 20:39, 22 February 2007 (CST)

No, I myself don't consider those two trials a priority, but then I've never cared about spectator sports (or pornography, either -- I figure you either play or don't play, but you don't pay to watch someone else play) anway, so you can't judge by me. And I confess to being biased toward U.S. law, because that's all I've practiced, because this is where I've been, but it's not as if there are trials taking place anywhere else (since 1776) that affect U.S. law, and we certainly consider the old cases from Europe important. But here are some U.S. Supreme Court cases I'd give priority to:
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
New York Times v. U.S., 403 U.S. 713 (1971)
Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978)
U.S. v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)
And what about Jack the Ripper makes him a legal subject at all, much less a priority one? Since we don't even know who he was, so there was never any legal proceeding involving him, why should the Law Workgroup care about him? There's certainly a place in this encyclopedia for the great unsolved crimes (who killed the princes in the Tower?) in history, but I respectfully suggest that it doesn't take a lawyer to approve any article about it, and isn't that the test of what should be in the Law Workgroup? -- k kay shearin 22:19, 22 February 2007 (CST)

I added the Supreme Court cases you mentioned plus the Standard Oil anti-trust case. All were on my short list except Gideon. I will go through the whole list and add case numbers, but use a piped link. The case number will show up in the title, but not on the WG listing.

I took out the baseball cases. They will go in Sports WG Top. Flood v. Kuhn will no doubt be put in Law WG, but not Top.

And I took out the Outlawry section. Maybe some stuff there (Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, Jesse James) belongs in Law, but not Top.

Is there a Title IX case we are missing?

James F. Perry 10:28, 23 February 2007 (CST)

I changed the subheadings on civil and criminal trials on the LawWG page because (1) that isn't the distinction in all legal systems -- even in our own (English) legal history people were routinely imprisoned for debt (a civil matter), and prohibiting that was one of the innovations of the Constitution; and (2) that isn't even the distinction in the U.S. -- exceeding the speed limit a little bit will cost you only property (a fine), not life or liberty, but it's still a crime, not a civil matter (and that's why due process explicitly covers the loss of life, liberty, and property interests).
It is my opinion that the trial is not the important factor for situations like the Black Sox and Al Capone -- but instead the scandal and the irony of having to get him for tax evasion instead of gangsterism, respectively -- but that the trial itself is rightfully the subject of a separate article for, say, Joan of Arc and Oscar Wilde (who might well be a law priority) and Sir Thomas More (who probably isn't), because in the latter cases the legal/justice system was twisted to serve a political agenda.
A major reason I became a civil rights lawyer is that in law school I studied that subject under Arthur Kinoy, who inter alia, was a lawyer for the Rosenbergs. If you haven't read his first book, Rights on Trial, I commend it to you. I don't have access to my copy now, because it's in storage with my furniture and other stuff, so I can't steer you to specific sections, but coming from your experience with JofA, I think you would appreciate his perspective on the legal system. -- k kay shearin 21:14, 23 February 2007 (CST)

New article

I just started the article Eggshell skull, please help to improve it, thank you! Yi Zhe Wu 10:12, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

Also Gideon v. Wainwright is started as well. Yi Zhe Wu 19:50, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Should articles be named for the full title of a law, or a better known abbreviation

Rather surprising myself, I started an article Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, went through a couple of saves, and then had an edit conflict. Apparently, someone else was starting it under HIPAA, and, at some time in the process, a redirect got created and the linkage became...very very confused.

So, should there be a general rule? To take a horrible example, "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001" or "PATRIOT" Act?

I think consistency is important, and, for that, I'd use the full title (e.g., Sarbanes-Oxley Act) with a redirect from SOX. There are going to be nasty special cases, since I was really writing about topics more in the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Act than in the original legislation.

Thoughts on a naming convention?

Howard C. Berkowitz 20:32, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

We have guidelines for Naming Conventions, but I don't recall the exact locatio: you need to search. In this specific case, the title HIPAA is unsuitable; whereas Patriot Act is fine, because it is common parlance. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 21:12, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

As a side note, if you rename an article, move the metadata page first(and all subpages). That way all the checklist information and history is preserved. --D. Matt Innis 21:50, 3 May 2008 (CDT)
This situation was a little more unusual; I wasn't attempting to move the article. I had been creating the article under the full name, and, as best as I can determine, someone else started to create it under HIPAA. On a third save after editing, a redirect by the other author led to an edit conflict. The probability of that timing sequence seems remote! Howard C. Berkowitz 22:04, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

To revive this topic: How about a convention for articles about U.S. constitutional amendments? We currently have only 2 such articles: First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ("of" seems to me the wrong preposition here; don't we usually say "N'th Amendment TO the Constitution?) and Twenty-seventh Amendment (with no "US Constitution" in the title).

Might I suggest using "Twenty-first [or whatever] Amendment to the U.S. Constitution", with redirects from "Twenty-first Amendment" and "21st Amendment", which is perhaps how most people would search for it. The Other Place does something similar (but wordier: " the Constitution of the United States"). We can't use the Britannica as a guide because it doesn't have individual articles on the amendments. Bruce M.Tindall 23:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


There does not seem to be any material in Citizendium on the topic of "imprisonment." I am interested in this topic, particularly the State of California Prison system as a sub-topic of the broader U.S. Criminal Justice System. Is this working group the one which would oversee such topics? Christine Bush 02:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. It is also possible to set up subgroups, e.g. 'Crime and Punishment'. John Stephenson 14:21, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
My guess is it would be jointly with sociology, and maybe politics. Peter Jackson 14:23, 2 June 2014 (UTC)