Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
judges, metatags, tech



Is It Too Much To Expect Judges In Tech Related Cases To Understand Tech?

from the just-saying... dept

Eric Goldman highlights yet another case where basic technology illiteracy leads a judge to make very questionable statements. In this particular case, a judge declared that because a specific phrase ("spoiled brats") was not found in the metatags of a website, someone who searched on that phrase "would likely not encounter" the page in question. Yes, the actual terms did appear on the page itself -- just not in the metatags. As Goldman notes:
What??? Putting aside the fact that the metatags were ignored by many of the search engines even at the relevant time (back in the late 1990s), this is a backwards way of assessing site visibility for the search term "Spoiled Brats." So what if the term Spoiled Brats wasn't in the metatags if the term was on the page?
Once again, this raises questions about how those who are technically illiterate on specific subjects are able to make rulings where a basic understanding of how the tech works could make a pretty big difference on how a judgment comes out.

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 18 Sep 2009 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    "It is the attorney's job to make sure that the judge understands the case."

    Great, except that attorney's are advocates for ther CLIENTS, not for the truth. So the whole idea behind your expert witnesses goes right out the window, as I already explained, because they'll just dig up whatever "expert" agrees with their position. So, even though one of the sides' "expert witnesses" is inevitably correct, which of these contradicting "experts" is the judge or jury supposed to listen to? After all, they're BOTH experts stating opposite "facts".

    This is what pisses me off about the adversarial system of justice and politics in our country. You have a legal system that proudly boasts that attorneys represent their clients to the fullest without prejudice. That sounds great, except that without prejudice part almost always means "without regard for the truth".

    In the words of Lewis Black, "At some point, we need some "fact" facts so we know what the fuck is going on."

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