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It's Not Just the Law. It's

Publication Date: 
June 22, 2010
The White House - Office of Science and Technology Policy
Josephine Wolff and Phil Larson

Deputy law librarian Erika Wayne is noted in the Office of Science and Technology Policy's blog. She spoke at an event in Washington hosted by the Center for American Progress on access to legal information online:

U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government Beth Noveck chaired a session at a day-long Washington workshop last week on, a national effort to make all primary U.S. legal documents available for free online. The June 18 workshop, sponsored by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and reflecting much of the progress already made through the Obama Administration’s Open Government initiative, emphasized the importance of easing access to legal documents across all three branches of government to increase transparency and accountability and to encourage innovative uses of this trove of information.

Workshop participants noted that there is great demand for primary legal records, including SEC filings and appeals court rulings, but that page charges and other “paywall” barriers limit access to these documents. Moreover, said Stanford Deputy Law Librarian Erika Wayne, efforts to inventory legal information and compile records online are often frustrated because the documents have disclaimers attached, are incomplete, or have not been updated with final text. The value of these documents could be greatly enhanced, added OMB General Counsel Preeta Bansal, if more of them were hyperlinked to one another, to show more clearly the full path of a case.