I’ll admit it. Wikipedia can sometimes be a lawyer’s best friend. Need a quick refresher on the “Rooker-Feldman” Doctrine??? Wikipedia to the rescue!
Curious regarding which law schools and “circuit feeder judge” past and current United States Supreme Court law clerks come from. There is a Wiki for that.
Although Wikipedia may be a great (and often very reliable) resource, that does not mean that appellate courts consider Wikipedia to be anywhere close to persuasive authority. In Harris v. Barefoot, No. COA09-1313 (N.C. Ct. App 2010) , the Court of Appeals firmly rejected Wikipedia as a reliable source of information. Inclined to doubt the Court’s hostility? Then take a look at the Court’s Wikipedia description.
“Wikipedia.com [is] a website that allows virtually anyone to upload an article into what is essentially a free, online encyclopedia. A review of the Wikipedia website reveals a pervasive and, for our purposes, disturbing series of disclaimers, among them, that: (i) any given Wikipedia article `may be, at any given moment, in a bad state: for example it could be in the middle of a large edit or it could have been recently vandalized;’ (ii) Wikipedia articles are `also subject to remarkable oversights and omissions;’ (iii) `Wikipedia articles (or series of related articles) are liable to be incomplete in ways that would be less usual in a more tightly controlled reference work;’ (iv) `[a]nother problem with a lot of content on Wikipedia is that many contributors do not cite their sources, something that makes it hard for the reader to judge the credibility of what is written;’ and (v) `many articles commence their lives as partisan drafts’ and may be `caught up in a heavily unbalanced viewpoint’”
Id. at fn. 2 (quoting Campbell ex. rel. Campbell v. Sec’y of Health and Human Serv., 69 Fed. Cl. 775, 781 (2006)).
Take away point: You (and the judges’ law clerks) can continue to be closet Wikipedia users—but make sure you do not tell them.