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August 23, 2004

Tracking Blakely decisions

With most of the federal circuit courts still not fully articulating their views on Blakely (background here), almost all of the most informative and thoughtful federal Blakely decisions have come from the federal district courts (details here). And in my efforts to track the work of federal district courts, I have gained a real education on the vagaries of the on-line legal world.

For example, the difference in the coverage and timing of district court opinions appearing on Lexis and Westlaw has sometimes been startling — e.g., a search this afternoon of "Blakely & Sentenc!" after June 24, 2004 produces 76 district court "hits" on Lexis and only 70 "hits" on Westlaw.

In addition, a good number of consequential district court opinions seem to take many days before appearing on either of these services — e.g., Jason Hernandez here reports on the noteworthy case of US v. Paulus, No. 04-CR-083, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16427 (E.D. Wis., Aug. 6, 2004), which escaped my notice perhaps in part because it took at least a week to appear on-line. (I am very thankful Jason found and discussed Paulus; it is the first case I have seen discussing Blakely in the context of an upward departure from the guidelines, and it may merit its own separate post later tonight.)

I feel incredibly lucky and thankful that many readers have sent me directly important Blakely decisions and orders, and I want to encourage these kind acts so that I can stay abreast of Blakely developments. For it seems that even in our on-line world, being connected still means a lot more than just having internet access.

August 23, 2004 at 05:15 PM | Permalink


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If you do a date-unrestricted, federal court cases - sombined search on Lexis of the term "blakely v. washington," you will come up with 157 "hits" as of 5:00 pm on August 23, 2004. While some only address Blakely in a peripheral manner, the total is far greater than the 76 district court cases you found. I have an alphabatized list of all 157 cases if you want it.


Posted by: Peter Schmidt | Aug 23, 2004 6:33:12 PM

Peter, does your list included circuit and district court decisions? Lexis and Westlaw seem to do a sound job getting everything the circuits have to say on-line and on-line quickly. But my post was focused on the district courts only. Do you have a list of 157 district court cases? If so, Wow, and send me the list.

Posted by: Doug B. | Aug 23, 2004 7:53:17 PM


My list of 157 cases includes all federal courts - Supreme, Circuit and District. I will send you the list however (but not until I get back to my office later today), because it aids me when I do my searches.

Posted by: Peter Schmidt | Aug 24, 2004 7:32:28 AM

My husband is a federal inmate in El Reno,
OK. He called tonight and told me that
there are bulletins posted in the prison
that inmates need to contact there attorneys
because Blakely applies to all inmates that
were sentenced in 2004. Is there truth behind this and if so what qualifies? Please e-mail me soon. Thank you.

Curious wife/mother

Posted by: Jessie | Nov 28, 2004 10:03:56 PM

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