Glitch Left Out Words from 600 Cases Since 2014

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On Friday, April 15 Westlaw informed users across the nation that various hard-copy reporters and their online counterparts contained errors. Some 600 cases published since November 2014 erroneously omitted small portions of case text.

In March, Thomson Reuters became aware that small portions of text were missing in a number of new cases posted to Westlaw due to the introduction of an upgrade to our PDF conversion process in November 2014. We immediately conducted an investigation, which revealed that approximately one-half of one percent (0.5%) of total decisions added to our collection during this period were affected by these issues.[1]

The email said that none of the omissions “resulted in any change to the meaning of the law.” The errors should not impact headnotes or Keycite classifications. The online versions should reflect the corrections.

According to the FAQ released with the general email:

We traced the problem to an upgrade to the PDF conversion process that takes opinions from the courts and puts them in a format that can be published on Westlaw and in print. The problem has now been resolved, and we have created new processes to keep the error from reoccurring.[2]

Westlaw posted a full list of the corrected cases and included examples of the omissions.

So far, Westlaw has not disclosed how the error came to light. Did its in-house quality control discover it or was it tipped off by an outside source?

Westlaw identified 104 reporters that the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library currently contains in its collection that will be re-printed and replaced. The Law Library will post more information on the replacement of the affected volumes once those details become available.



Posted by Stacey L. Rowland on Wed. April 20, 2016 9:24 AM
Categories: Uncategorized

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