Open Source Legal Education: Groklaw’s Relentless Community

Pamela Jones and the hordes of relentless keyboard kommandoes have been clicking up a storm in these waning days of the SCO v. IBM litigation.

They have just posted a re-working of what PJ calls "IBM’s Greatest Hits" and Groklaw’s "Magnum Opus". It’s titled …

Declaration of Todd M. Shaughnessy with Unsealed or Redacted Exhibits

… but it’s a massively linked documents from IBM of a good portion of the documents relevant to the case. It comes to Groklaw via Pacer as a PDF of images that the community has converted into HTML/text including pretty formatting, links (to all of the other documents in the Groklaw warehouse) and all spell-checked, i-dotted, t-crossed and worked over by volunteers who are more than happy to poke one more stick into SCO’s eye.

Oh, no, this is not personal …NOT.

But Pam is wrong.

The "great work" of Groklaw cannot be reduced to a single document or blog post. This is just the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the … the … words escape me.

What if every injustice were pursued with the relentless zeal that the Groklaw community brings to their particular passion? Ponder that for a moment.

Law schools could teach entire seminars (several in fact) based on the just the court documents posted on the site, but the editorials and commentary bring color, life and emotion to this case. What a rich treasure of information …. all in one place.

The case is slouching towards conclusion and a recent blizzard of documents have been produced by both sides. 42 months into the case and you would think that there would be no ergs of energy left to transcribe these tedious lawyerly tomes. You would be wrong. With dispatch and depair (SCO’s that is), the Groklawites have punched out the facts for everyone else to read, ponder and dissect.

Groklaw makes litigators out of all who read it and I mean that in the best possible way. We have learned all about trial tactics, motion practice, depositions, evidence, jurisdiction, summary judgement, contracts, copyright … the list is long … and in following Groklaw, I feel like I have been to law school and am ready to take the bar exam (well, perhaps not quite).

Kudos to Pam and the inexorable Groklaw community.

BlackBoard, take note.

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