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I surveyed all of the legal citation network articles of which I am aware in an article available here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=987301 (Published as: Hook, Peter A. (2007) The Aggregate Harmony Metric and a Statistical and Visual Contextualization of the Rehnquist Court: 50 Years of Data, Constitutional Commentary 24(1).
I have reproduced the most applicable text below.
(Since then, I know some of the cited authors have produced additional legal network studies.)
Furthermore, I have some examples on my Website of visualizations related to citation networks. Specifically, Supreme Court Abortion cases: http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~pahook/product/2007-05-22_NetSci07.ppt
I have never seen a bipartite citation network with both primary and secondary authorities. However, I have thought about this in the context of producing visualizations for teaching legal research. I look forward to seeing your work if/when you are comfortable sharing it. (FYI, I am both a lawyer (JD) and a PhD student working in the area of information visualization.)
Peter A. Hook
Electronic Services Librarian
Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington
211 South Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
fax: (812) 855-7099
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SSRN Author Page: http://ssrn.com/author=346126
D. Network Visualizations and the Law
Because this article uses network visualization techniques to visualize the
relationship of the justices based on their voting behavior, it is appropriate to survey the
growing body of legal scholars doing similar work with legal networks. Smith, Cross and
their collaborators utilize a dataset of the citation interlinkages of every federal and state
case on Lexis as well as the citation interlinkages of 385,000 legal journal articles.47
Chandler utilizes the software program Mathematica to evaluate a dataset of the citation
interlinkages amongst Supreme Court cases from 1831 to 2005.48 Chandler has also
written on the network structure of the Uniform Commercial Code.49 Political scientist
Fowler and his collaborators also utilize the citation interlinkages for Supreme Court
cases retrieved by automated means from Lexis to identify outwardly important cases and
inwardly important cases.50 The CITE-IT Project analyzes the citation network of federal
level regulatory takings cases.51
47 Smith, Thomas A., "The Web of Law" (Spring 2005). San Diego Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-
11 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=642863 or DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.642863; Cross, Frank B.,
Smith, Thomas A. and Tomarchio, Antonio, "Determinants of Cohesion in the Supreme Court's Network of
Precedents" (August 2006). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 07-67 Available at SSRN:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=924110; Cross, Frank B. and Smith, Thomas A., "The Reagan Revolution in the
Network of Law" (June 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=909217;
48 Chandler, S. J. (2005). The Network Structure of Supreme Court Jurisprudence. Paper presented at the
2005 International Mathematica Symposium. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=742065.
49 Chandler, S. J. (2005). The Network Structure of the Uniform Commercial Code: It's A Small World After
All. Paper presented at the 2005 Wolfram Technology Conference. Available at:
50 Fowler, J. H., Johnson, T. R., Spriggs, J. F. I., Jeon, S., & Wahlbeck, P. J. (In Press). Network Analysis
and the Law: Measuring the Legal Importance of Supreme Court Precedents. Political Analysis; James H.
Fowler and Sangick Jeon (Working Paper), The Authority of Supreme Court Precedent: A Network
Analysis, Available at: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu/; Fowler, J. H. (2006). Connecting the Congress: A Study
of Cosponsorship Networks. Political Analysis, 14, 456 - 487.
51 McIntosh, Wayne., Cousins, Ken., Rose, James., Simon, Stephen., Evans, Mike., Karnes, Kimberly.,
McTague, John. and Pearson-Merkowitz, Shanna. "Using Information Technology to Examine the
Communication of Precedent: Initial Findings and Lessons From the CITE-IT Project" Paper presented at
the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association, Marriott Hotel, Oakland, California,
2005-03-17 Online <.PDF>. 2007-02-25. Available at: http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/CITEIT/
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Vincent Lepinay
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 2:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: legal rulings citation networks
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dear network specialists
I am working on a couple of legal theories that have been commented by the US Supreme Court and I would be interested in reading studies of legal rulings citation networks. I am particularly interested in the double (or maybe not double) levels of citations between primary and secondary sources. The theories deal with cases of financial fraud, and economics is also brought into the picture, which complicates even more the picture.
I am also interested in hearing from scholars who have tried such studies how they dealt with the retrieval of data (cases on lexis
Nexis) when such data entailed thousands of references....
Any reference would be most appreciated.
Vincent Antonin Lepinay
Program in Science, Technology and Society
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
email: [log in to unmask]
tel: 617 253 7679
cell: 617 223 7744
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