How many feet are in a yard? Well, you might answer me with “It depends on how many people are standing in your yard.” OK, bad example.
That’s really where the concept of Judicial Notice is part of evidence. Of course, it could sound like the obvious,where a Judge notices when someone walks into the Courtroom and begins whispering during a hearing. Bad time to be noticed.
If you are really looking for an accurate definition of Judicial Notice, you can click over to Wikipedia. There, it would tell you that it relates to a fact that is so notorious, that it doesn’t need proof. A party can just ask the Judge to accept the matter as fact, into evidence. An example would be something like last Wednesday was August 3. Or, that there are 3 measurable feet in a yard.
With the Internet, Wikipedia may become reliable enough that it could be part of Judicial Notice someday. Put another way, the New York Times acknowledges that Wikipedia may “Become the Man”.
The concept of Wikipedia is that “People are knowledge”. The difficulty in totally relying on it is that there have been instances where it has become “accuracy challenged”, because somebody intentionally puts questionable or false information to either possibly try to slander someone; or there is a political agenda. (Palin/Paul Revere story)
Wikipedia reports that 400 million people worldwide, search it every month. I guess, we search Map Quest for directions and we look up medicine on such sites as WebMD.
Will all this Internet searching have impact on the Judicial system? Lately, I have seen more Judges with laptops at the Bench, including a Judge last week, who was receiving instant messages from her clerk. The Law Clerk was sitting in the back with an IPad.
I don’t think that the future will change the brick and mortar need of the Courtroom and I don’t foresee lawyers being able to stay in the office for a hearing, by sending a 3D hologram to argue a motion.
Judges do allow us to introduce evidence through technology. Google Maps is one area where it’s helpful and less expensive, because of possible Judicial Notice of the location of the crash.
No longer do I need to send someone up in a small plane, to lean over and take pictures of the road. Although, that did provide some humor when some of the pictures looked a bit like the wind had caught the plane, right before the shutter clicked. The good ole days!
Yep, couldn’t help myself. Another legal pic o’day
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