If you’re going to submit documents with citations to unpublished decisions to US International Trade Court Commission Administrative Judge Dee Lord, you’re going to have to make sure it has Westlaw citations and not Lexis. In Judge Lord’s ITC Order [pdf] she ordered the parties to change the “incorrect” LEXIS citations for unpublished decisions and resubmit the briefs and reply briefs with WESTLAW citations.

The parties’ post trial briefs and reply briefs include several incorrect legal citations and citations to LEXIS databases for unpublished decisions, which are no longer available to the USITC. To ensure that the cited legal authority is considered, the parties are hereby ordered to review their briefs and verify the accuracy of their citations. The parties shall file corrected briefs, no later than February 14,2014, using Bluebook formatting for citations, fixing any errors in the citations and including WESTLAW citations for any unpublished decisions (including USITC orders and opinions).

Judge Lord joined the ITC Bench in September last year, and it would seem (and I am hoping) that this is her preference to how she wants briefs filed and not a larger trend. Since according to the USITC website [pdf, page 21], decisions can be researched on both Westlaw and Lexis, it would seem that both citations would be accepted by the USITC. However, the part in Judge Lord’s decision that says that Lexis unpublished decisions “are no longer available to the USITC”, may be driving this decision and thus creating an “incorrect LEXIS” citation.

This type of decision could mean that anyone submitting documents to the USITC would have to use Westlaw in order to submit “correct” citations. Let’s hope not!! Of course, it would be great if the courts would use a universal citation for their published and unpublished opinions, but that might be just too much to ask…

[Hat tip to Amy for pointing this out, and to Mark for getting me the USITC mention of using Westlaw or Lexis for USITC research.]

[Ed. Note: I incorrectly referred to the ITC as International Trade Court. I should have said International Trade Commission. – GL 2/15/2014]

  • Anonymous

    to be fair, I don't think she's saying the Lexis citations are incorrect. I think she's asking them to change incorrect AND lexis citations. It suggests that some of the other cites in the briefs are simply wrong.

  • Anonymous

    So what if there is an opinion that Westlaw doesnt happen to have…?

  • While I know Thomson Reuters doesn't like it, I guess it's lucky for Lexis Advance users that Lexis provides any known Westlaw citations for unpublished cases, and will seek out missing ones upon request. You couldn't get the pincites that way, but at least that's something. If only all vendors would play nice. . . .

  • Brian B

    I agree that "incorrect" was not meant to modify "citations to Lexis databases". What we have here is an ill-considered placement of a comma. If there is to be but one comma, it would have best been placed after "incorrect legal citations".

  • Oxford Comma strikes again!! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    You should not get Westlaw cites from Lexis. They are incorrect, which is what may have happened in this case. From what I recall, Lexis used an unauthorized method to download Westlaw cites. Westlaw responded by altering the cites so that you can't rely on them. I recall a letter from TR explaining all this a couple of years back…

    • If that is true the West has some explaining to do about consistancy of its cites. Sue Lexis, but don't alter citations that everyone uses.

  • Anonymous

    It is inaccurate to refer to the ITC, an administrative tribunal, as the "US International Trade Court." The international trade court for the US is the US Court of International Trade.

  • You are correct. I've made the adjustment in my post. Thanks for pointing that out. -GL